Stolen cables found at 1-in-3 scrap yards; Final warning for owners.
SCRAP yard owners are being warned they may face prosecution and could have their businesses shut down after police recovered pounds 20,000 of stolen cable.
Officers visited 33 scrap yards across North Wales over two weeks and discovered stolen cables at a third of them.
Environment Agency Wales officers warned similar finds on their subsequent visits, could see owners have their yards closed and be taken to court.
They were involved in the joint crackdown with North Wales Police and Scottish Power, offering advice and handing out posters which identify the different types of cable thieves target.
The operation also checked if yard owners were complying with their operating licences and permits.
It comes after a spate of power cable thefts sparked fears energy supplies for homes and businesses could be jeopardised, as well as lives endangered.
The stolen cables have now been seized by police and all 11 operators given a final warning.
The identities of the scrapyard businesses which had stolen energy cables recovered from them were not revealed but they were reportedly spread across North Wales.
David Edwell of EAW said: "Cable theft is a growing problem because it causes disruption to power supplies and puts lives at risk "Operators tempted to handle stolen metal have now been told what they cannot have on their site.
"We will be keeping a very close eye on these sites from now on and if they are caught handling stolen cables they will be prosecuted by the police and we will revoke their permit.
"As regulator of these sites we will do absolutely everything we can to make sure they comply with the conditions of their permit and we'll be working closely with the police to make sure these sites operate within the law."
Scrap metal theft, including stolen cable, is estimated to cost in the region of pounds 770m a year and that figure is rising.
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||May 12, 2012|
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