Joint operation leads crackdown on crime

Inspector Paul Lawrence briefs officers at the start of the operation on Thursday
Inspector Paul Lawrence briefs officers at the start of the operation on Thursday

Police officers have been out in force this morning (Thursday) as part of a joint operation to crack down on metal thieves and dodgy traders.

Herts Police joined with the British Transport Police, the Environment Agency and Hertfordshire Trading Standards in the operation targeting suspected vehicles on the edge of Flamstead, where the A5 meets the M1.

Officers speak to drivers as part of the operation in Flamstead

Officers speak to drivers as part of the operation in Flamstead

Number plate recognition cameras were used to identify vehicles travelling through the area, suspected of carrying stolen metals or other stolen goods, or illegally transporting waste, such as engine oil, without a licence.

Suspected vehicles were escorted to the Watling Street Truck Stop and searched by officers and agency staff.

The operation was led by Inspector Paul Lawrence from Herts Police.

He said: “Metal theft is high on the list of things we’re targeting today, although I wouldn’t want to rank anything as every crime is important.

“Enforcement is key but it is also about education. Sometimes people fall foul of the law for things that they don’t fully know about.

“But we are here today to do both these things and show our presence as a signal that we are actively pursuing those people who commit these crimes.”

As the operation began, one of the camera-equipped interceptor teams arrested a driver after they were flagged up by the system.

It is believed they had taken a vehicle without consent.