GREATER Manchester police have conducted a week of action in partnership with the British Transport Police, to tackle a rising trend in the theft of catalytic converters.

In the Greater Manchester area police have seen a significant increase in thefts since the start of the year.

The National Catalytic Converter Theft Week of Action, otherwise known as 'Operation Gold Iron' has seen officers out in force targeting offenders and carrying out crime prevention work.

During the week, officers visited 27 vehicle dismantling businesses, eight catalytic converter buyers, seven recycling centres and five mobile catalytic converter collectors. 13 stolen catalytic converters as well as 39 stolen vehicles were subsequently recovered from across the force area.

As part of the activity, two men, both of no fixed abode, were arrested and later charged with conspiracy to handle stolen goods linked to a large spate of offences which took place on the evening of the April 6, 2021. They are both currently remanded in custody awaiting a trial date.

Chief Inspector Shan Nasim, who is the force and national metal theft lead said: "Growing metal prices has contributed to the increase in the theft of catalytic converters which is generally committed by Organised Crime Groups.

“We are finding that groups are travelling between areas within Greater Manchester and will hit one area at a time, targeting a large number of vehicles and then move onto somewhere else. On some occasions nearly 20 vehicles have been targeted in the same area during a short period.”

Reports of catalytic converter theft can be made by calling 101 or by using the GMP online reporting form.