METAL theft in Warwickshire has plummeted over the past 12 months following a change in the law.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 made it illegal for anyone to pay cash for scrap metal, and it resulted in an 80 per cent fall in thefts.
The new law means collectors and dealers now have to be licensed and if caught, they face a fine of up to £5,000.
Last November, officers across the West MIdlands swopped on scrap metal dealers, and also stopped mobile collectors, to check records to ensure they were complying with the law.
Det Ch Insp Anthony Love said: “We take the theft of metal very seriously as often there are significant impacts for the victims of such offences.
“All offences are investigated thoroughly with a firm focus on the impact on the victim and we maintain an effective working relationship with scrap metal merchants.”