Monday, September 26, 2022

Fourteen arrested in metal theft crackdown in Essex

FOURTEEN people have been arrested as part of a joint day of action by Kent Police and Essex Police to target metal theft across both counties.

Today’s action by officers from both forces, supported by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, saw search warrants executed in Ramsgate, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Tenterden in Kent. Further arrests were made at addresses in Thanet and Herne Bay and in Grays and Romford in Essex and Canning Town in East London.

The operation, which was aimed at disrupting the illegal trade in stolen metal, also resulted in the seizure of thousands of pounds worth of lead and cable.

Those arrested during action in East Kent were a 38-year-old man arrested in Beltinge on suspicion of handling stolen goods; two men aged 24 and 35, both from Ramsgate, on suspicion of handling stolen goods; a 38-year-old Margate man on suspicion of handling stolen goods; a 43-year-old Margate man on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug; a 22-year-old Ramsgate man on suspicion of supplying a Class A drug and a 46-year-old Margate man on suspicion of possessing a Class A drug.

Arrested in West Kent on suspicion of the attempted handling of stolen goods were a 20-year-old man from Maidstone, a 45-year-old man from Tunbridge Wells and a 67-year-old man from Tenterden.

In Essex, a 25-year-old man and 52-year-old man, both from Grays; a 64-year-old man from Romford and a 24-year-old man from Canning Town, London were all arrested on suspicion of the attempted handling of stolen goods.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge, who is head of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, witnessed the action in West Kent. He said: ‘Today’s action in both counties was the culmination of a six-month investigation to target those venues which are helping metal thieves to function.

‘This type of organised criminality causes misery to many who are left without light and power or unable to travel because of the disruption this type of theft can cause.

‘Today’s action demonstrates that we do take the theft of metal seriously and we are putting significant resources into targeting those responsible and bringing them to justice for their crimes.’

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