WISBECH: Innocent scrap dealer protests over police raid
EXCLUSIVE BY Louise Hughes A WISBECH scrap metal dealer who has been cleared on suspicion of theft says the police raid on his premises was heavy-handed and excessive. It was totally over the top, said Mick Denton, who owns a scrap metal yard in Osbourn
BY Louise Hughes
A WISBECH scrap metal dealer who has been cleared on suspicion of theft says the police raid on his premises was heavy-handed and excessive.
"It was totally over the top," said Mick Denton, who owns a scrap metal yard in Osbourne Road.
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"Around 30 police officers stormed our premises and kept us in the office while they raided the yard. They then arrested me and my 19-year-old son and threw us into the cells.
"All the time, I had receipts to prove the company had bought the scrap metal. But the police wouldn't let me touch any of the business paperwork for me to prove our innocence.
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"All they needed was a couple of uniformed officers to come down and ask me to produce any form of proof of purchase documents - and the matter would've been resolved immediately.
"My youngest boy, Joshua, had popped into the office on his way into school. Instead he spent his 15th birthday under police guard. It was ridiculous."
Officers raided the yard on March 6 as part of Operation Saruman - the force's response to tackling metal theft - and allegedly found a stolen vehicle and kegs.
They arrested Mick Denton on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and suspicion of theft. His son, Luke Goodhew was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
Both have received written confirmation that they were no longer required to surrender to bail on April 2.
Mr Denton added: "I am a licensed scrap metal dealer and everything at this yard is purchased legitimately.
"We did not steal anything but it now transpires the vehicle had been previously stolen.
"I understand there is a problem with scrap metal thefts and we would co-operate with the police if they needed our help - but this wasn't the right way to go about it."
Police have confirmed that no further action has been taken following the arrests.
A spokesman said the raid was carried out as they were "pretty sure" at the time that stolen parts were down there.
He added that Operation Saruman "is ongoing and we will act on information we receive. We treat all information equally and if we have to carry out further raids as part of the operation, we will do.