Tougher laws for metal theft passed

A new law for the scrap metal industry passed today could cut the number of cable thefts in the energy industry. Richard Ottaway, MP for Croydon South’s ‘Scrap Metal Dealers […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A new law for the scrap metal industry passed today could cut the number of cable thefts in the energy industry.

Richard Ottaway, MP for Croydon South’s ‘Scrap Metal Dealers Bill’ proposes a reform of the metal recycling industry, which includes a “rigorous licensing scheme”. This is to ensure every sale of scrap metal is accounted for and everyone trading in scrap are doing so legitimately.

Mr Ottaway said the result passed in the House of Commons today was an “immensely rewarding and poignant victory”. He said: “Metal theft is no petty crime. We hear regular reports of metal thefts that cut off power to communities and hospitals, putting people’s lives in danger. Even more sickening, however, are the attacks on our churches, crematoriums and war memorials.”

The Energy Networks Association (ENA), which had been calling for a change in law in tackling the problem, welcomed the news. Tony Glover, Director of Policy said: “This change in the law will go a long way to dealing a lasting blow to criminals, we have confidence in the House of Lords to deliver a robust Bill and for the courts to enact tough sentences that will end this scourge on society.”

According to statistics from the ENA, metal theft cost the industry around £60 million last year. ELN has been following the issue of cable theft in the energy industry, with an earlier report suggesting thieves are targeting the power grid in the hope of selling it to make a huge profit.