Residents in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, are blaming scrap metal thieves after a set of fence posts were taken.

Criminals struck the recreational area of Nightingale removing six metal panels and two posts in the raid. Local people believe it is part of the rising culture of stealing scrap to earn quick money.

Mark Peters, chairman of Wheatpieces Parish Council, told the Gloucestershire Echo: "Having spoken to the police, they believe people may be stealing these things for scrap metal. If it had been vandals, you would have expected to have found the items quite close by."

Police around the country are stepping up their attempts to put an end to this problem and authorities in Yorkshire launching a campaign to vet scrap dealers and catch any people committing this crime.

Operation Tornado has been implemented across four police forces in the region and will mean scrap metal dealers have to sign up to the scheme and ask sellers for identification before handing over any money.

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