Individuals who steal metal gates and other items to sell on as scrap are being targeted by Durham Constabulary.

A number of new units have been set up, which comprise five or six officers, and will target scrap metal crimes throughout County Durham and Darlington.

Chief Superintendent Dave Orford, who is leading the response to metal theft, explained that this is a growing issue throughout the whole of the UK.

"We're already doing a lot to combat the problem, gathering intelligence all the time and working closely with the people who run scrap yards in the area," he commented.

Anyone who sees a vehicle transporting scrap metal is urged to report it so the police can investigate whether or not it is operating legally.

Homeowners are also asked not to give thieves an easy ride and to ensure high-value metal items are kept out of sight.

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