Officers from the Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria Forces along with colleagues from British Transport Police will be raiding scrap metal yards and carrying out roadside checks on vehicles suspected to be handling stolen metals.
Global increases in commodity prices for scrap metals especially copper and lead in the last couple of years fuelled metal thefts with thieves targeting domestic homes and community buildings.
Telecoms, electricity, water and rail and tram networks were also targeted causing widespread disruption, expensive reinstatement costs and even endangering people's lives.
Law-abiding scrap metal dealers have also joined the fight against metal theft by adopting work practices that make it harder for thieves to off-load stolen metals onto them. These include information sharing agreements with police on suspected metal thieves and robust recording of information on people offering scrap metal to yards.
Almost 85 per cent of the 232 scrap metal dealers in the North West have signed up to a scheme that requires people selling scrap metal to yards to provide photo ID and proof of address making it harder for rogue dealers to operate.