The Government are stepping up their measure to ensure people who steal or sell metal will soon face tough new penalties. From next month powers will take effect to stop cash paid for metal and give the police stronger powers to target rogue traders dealing in stolen scrap metal.
According to the Home Office, there are roughly 1,000 metal thefts a week which cost the UK economy at least £220m-260m per year – although the estimated total costs could be up to £800m.
The Government has introduced a series of measures to tackle metal theft including:
- Ring fencing £5m of funding to support the metal theft task force
- Banning scrap metal dealers from trading in cash
- increasing financial penalties under the existing regulation of the scrap metal sector;
- providing new police powers of entry to tackle illegal trading in metal yards.
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the move as it will also deter theives from stealing form war memorials.
Commenting Tim said:
“As we approach Remembrance Sunday, and with those who have fallen whilst serving their country in two World Wars and more recent conflicts in mind, this legislation is very timely It makes me angry to think of war memorials being vandalised by thieves for cash in hand when there are families here and now whose loved ones are commemorated there."
– Tim Farron MP
“The thought that vandals could get away with destroying war memorials like the cenotaph in Kendal town centre just for a quick profit is horrendous. So the proposals to introduce powers to help ensure proper measures are taken against the selfish few who show so little respect when a nation mourns is absolutely vital."