A MAJOR police operation launched in Barnsley today with local scrapyards raided by police searching for stolen metal. Operation Obtain - which ran in Barnsley and Rotherham - saw around 400 police officers swoop in to search scrapyards. Five in Barnsley were checked for stolen items - Aluminium Recycling Ltd, Boulder Bridge Lane, Carlton; Gillott Alloys, Valley Road, Wombwell; J Wallace Metals, Nicholas Lane, Goldthorpe; G Booth and Son, Brierley Road, Shafton and Blackburn and Son, Wharncliffe Business Park, Carlton. Ch Supt Bill Hotchkiss said it was the biggest single strike against suspected metal theft South Yorkshire had ever seen. He said: "The full extent of the amount of material and assets recovered from the sites searched today won't be clear for some time. We have sent a strong message to those suspected of creating a market for stolen metal. "South Yorkshire Police is focussed on disrupting criminal trade and removing the market for stolen metal. Legitimate scrap metal dealers have nothing to fear.

“Metal theft is not a victimless crime, it causes interruption to the provision of utilities such as electricity, water, gas, telecommunications and rail transport and has a far-reaching impact on communities." Specialist search officers from Customs, BT, Northern Power Grid, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water searched every site identifying and recovering stolen metal and assets.

Arrests were made and more information will be released soon.