During September, British Transport Police officers from the Cardiff Metal Theft Team worked with officers from Gwent Police to set up the first joint metal theft task force, tackling problems in the Caerphilly area.
Over three weeks, the force saw a massive reduction in metal theft and other aspects of criminality. Not a single metal theft took place in the Rhymney Valley, which had always been an area where metal thefts had caused severe disruption to the railway.
Twenty people were arrested for offences including cable theft, theft of diesel, metal theft, drug offences, breaching a court order, obstructing police and being a failed asylum seeker, driving while disqualified and drink-driving.
Other successes included:
15 loads of scrap metal were seized to the value of £1,794.10.23
23 people reported for driving without insurance
22 people reported for driving without a licence
26 vehicles seized under section 165 of the Road Traffic Act
Public urged to be vigilant over "alarming" rise in metal theft
Welsh police forces are calling for public to be alert and report signs of metal theft.
The forces have launched a campaign to draw people's attention to the "distress" and "inconvenience" caused by thieves stealing copper cabling and lead from sites across the country.
In one example, a gang used chainsaws to cut down a electricity pylon in Blaenau in order to steal its cabling.
Assistant Chief Constable Matt Jukes, said: “Metal theft is about more than metal. Even the smallest amount of stolen cables or wiring can cause a great deal of inconvenience and distress to local people."
"These types of crimes are committed mostly in full view of the public, however, most of us presume that if we see people in work-type clothing or yellow jackets working on power cables or on roofs, then they must have someone's permission."