Essex Police is upping the ante in its crackdown on catalytic converter theft.

Last week officers visited 34 scrapyards across the county as part of a week of action against the crime.

The precious metal in catalytic converters has led to an increase in their theft, not just in Essex but across the country.

The force says its officers are working business owners and staff to disrupt and deter criminal activity around the buying and selling or stolen metals.

Inspector Terry Jacobs, of Essex Police's Local Policing Support Unit, said: "The impact of catalytic converter theft is costly one for the victim.

"Without a converter, your vehicle will become unusable and produce too many emissions, making it illegal to drive on the road.

"As we see the value of these precious metals increase, we see reports of catalytic converter theft grow and work is ongoing to tackle this throughout Essex.

"There are already laws in place around the buying and selling of scrap metal and we are pleased to report that all the scrap metal dealers we visited last week were operating lawfully, with no issues to report.

"We will continue carry out unannounced visits on scrap metal dealers and make it clear that there is no place in Essex for handling stolen scrap metal.

"Officers will also ensure compliance around legislation requirements placed upon scrap metal dealers.

"By working with local businesses we can ensure thieves don't have anywhere to sell stolen metals and therefore reduce the appeal of this crime."

Epping Forest Guardian:

For more breaking news, local headlines and features, ‘like’ our Facebook page.

We also have a Twitter account: @EppingFGuardian

Follow us to keep up-to-date with news in Epping Forest.