The Cost of Metal Theft

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Over recent years there has been a marked increase in metal thefts across the country with 360 thefts being reported on London railways since April 2010 alone. It is not just railways that are being targeted by metal thieves either; church roofs, utility cables and war memorials have all been targeted. These thefts are estimated to be costing the UK economy between £220 million and £260 million every year, something has to be done.

I am pushing for a tougher and more robust response from the Government on this vital national issue. In my opinion it is absolutely essential that the Government sends a strong statement to metal thieves and rogue metal dealers by updating the law.

I have personally written to, and met with, the Home Secretary to register my concerns about the detrimental effects that these thefts are having on communities, commuters and the UK rail industry. The Government needs to act soon to modernise the relevant legislation in order to prevent the law from being left behind in the twentieth century; and at the mercy of these types of criminals.

I believe that tougher controls need to be put on scrap metal dealers to ensure that selling stolen metal on becomes an implausible option to thieves.

The Mayor’s Office has put forward several proposals to ensure that these thefts are not able to continue:

  1. A cash payment free industry
  2. Making it a legal requirement to produce relevant identification whilst selling scrap metal and records to be kept of all transactions.
  3. Stricter requirements for scrap metal dealers to be registered with local authorities.

It is paramount that the Government and the British Transport Police start to work more closely to protect the interests of the affected commuters, communities and companies.

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