A CRACKDOWN on metal theft in Basildon led to five arrests and 62 vehicle checks.

A second day of action as part of Operation Tornado - a crackdown on criminal dealings in stolen metals - was carried out on Friday, September 21.

Working with Basildon Council’s waste management team, Trading Standards and officers from British Transport Police, police stopped and checked 62 stop vehicles at the junction of Wrexham Road and Archers Field Close, near three scrap yards.

An Essex Police spokesman said drivers of three vehicles were suspected of not have a waste carriers licence, with two of them required to buy one or be fined £300.

Following checks on book keeping records at the scrap yards, eight warning letters were given to people giving false or incorrect details when dealing in metals.

Police also made five arrests under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act:

• A 27-year-old man from Basildon was cautioned for giving false personal name or address details.

• A 25-year-old man from Downham, near Billericay , was charged with three counts of giving false details. He was bailed until October 11.

• A 21-year-old man from South Ockendon was charged with two counts of giving false details. He was bailed to until October 11.

• A 24-year-old man from Basildon was given a caution for providing false details.

• A 45-year-old man from Gravesend, Kent, was charged with taking a motor vehicle without consent, theft of a shopping trolley and possession of cannabis. He has been bailed until November 14.