Good news for those of us who have campaigned against scrap metal theft.
Richard Ottoway’s Scrap Metal Dealers’ Bill received its third reading in the House of Lords in February. The Bill proposes a whole-scale reform of the £5.6bn scrap metal industry, which is the principal outlet for stolen metal.
Metal theft is no petty crime, as readers of this newspaper will testify. We hear reports of metal thefts that target out energy, transport and telecommunications infrastructure, cutting off power and vital services to communities, putting people’s lives in danger.
Even more sickening are the attacks on our churches, crematoria and war memorials. It is particularly fitting that Ottoway’s Bill will make it on to the statute books in the year 2014, which marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
The Bill will implement a rigorous licensing scheme that ensures every sale of scrap metal is accounted for and that all people trading in scrap are doing so legitimately. Its key features include punitive unlimited fines for the most serious breaches of the act, cashless trading for all scrap meral dealers including mobile collectors to ensure maximum transparency.
May I also thank my MP Mike Wood for keeping me up to date on this important piece of legislation,