Government could risk Olympic metal theft embarrassment

For immediate release – Tuesday 17 January 2011

This week (Friday 20 January) the Private Members’ Bill setting out urgently needed changes to the law around metal theft has the opportunity to be adopted by Government. Should they choose not to take this opportunity new laws will not have affect in time to protect critical national infrastructure in time for the Olympics.

Graham Jones MP for Hyndburn, who presented his Bill to Parliament on Tuesday 15 November 2011, is urging Government to tackle the scourge on our society with firm, just and widely-supported action:

“I’m worried that failure to legislate immediately will mean changes aren’t effected until well into 2013. The Olympics this year makes this all the more urgent. But I hold great hopes that the Government will sponsor this Bill and put it on track to becoming legislation.”

Energy Networks Association Chief Executive David Smith is also pressing Government not to miss the opportunity to act before it is too late:

“2012 will see our energy, transport and communications infrastructure tested to their limits and this Bill is the last opportunity to deliver a lasting blow to the metal thieves in time for the Olympics. It is absolutely vital that the Government acts now to put a stop to this dangerous and destructive crime epidemic that poses a significant threat to a momentous occasion of national pride”

Last month an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Combating Metal Theft, Co-Chaired by Conservative MP Chris Kelly, set out their support for Graham Jones’ Metal Theft (Prevention) Bill and called for an end to “metal laundering” that had “infected the whole chain handling scrap metal”.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Today (Tuesday 17 January) Ambridge, the fictional setting for Radio 4’s The Archers, fell victim to metal theft as copper cable caused the phone lines to be cut.

Details of the Bill are available here.

Details of an e-petition in support of the Metal Theft (Prevention) Bill can be found here.

ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Tim Field, Press and Public Affairs Executive
Energy Networks Association
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