POLICE are continuing to clamp down on metal thieves – with five arrests and checks on 62 vehicles near three Basildon scrapyards.

Officers joined Basildon Council’s waste management team, Essex Trading Standards and British Transport Police for a second day of action against metal theft.

Vehicle checks were carried out at the junction of Wrexham Road and Archers Field Close.

A police spokesman said drivers of three vehicles were stopped on suspicion of having no waste carrier’s licence. Two of them were given a choice of buying a £154 licence, or being fined £300.

After checks on bookkeeping records at the scrapyards, eight warning letters were given to people who had given false or incorrect details when selling metal.

Police also made five arrests under the Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act: l A 27-year-old Basildon man was cautioned for giving false personal name or address details.

A 25-year-old Downham man was charged with three counts of giving false details and freed on police bail until October 11.

A 21-year-old South Ockendon man was charged with two counts and bailed to until October 11.

A 24-year-old Basildon man 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.