POLICE will crackdown on catalytic converter theft after rising prices of metal has seen the number of this type of crime spike across the borough.

Last week, Barnsley police officers joined forces with British Transport Police as part of targeted action to tackle catalytic converter theft.

Operation Goldiron, a national operation, saw officers carry out enforcement action, site checks and crime prevention activity to deter criminals and gather intelligence.

Police believe that rising prices of metal has contributed to an increase and is often co-ordinated by organised crime groups.

Detective Inspector Lee Townley, force lead for metal theft, said: “Not many people are aware of catalytic converter theft until it happens to their vehicle and they’re left paying the price.

“Your catalytic converter is a device on your exhaust which helps purify fumes, they contain precious metals which is why they are tempting to thieves.

“All vehicles are vulnerable to this type of theft, but criminals have recently been seen to be targeting hybrids.”

Last week officers in the area paid a visit to local scrapyards to check owners were aware of their responsibilities when disposing of converters.

Neighbourhood teams also spoke to victims, providing forensic marking services and crime prevention advice.

Detective Townley added: “We know the impact that metal crime can have on individuals and businesses and we are continuing with disruption work across South Yorkshire.

“Awareness raising is also really important, it is vital that the public take steps to protect their vehicles and report anything suspicious to us.”