Cross Party group of MPs secure Commons debate on metal theft

For immediate release – Wednesday 1 February 2012

NB: Energy Networks Association provides support for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Combating Metal Theft.

Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Combating Metal Theft have secured a debate calling for a radical overhaul of the scrap metal industry in the House of Commons next week. It is expected that the Home Secretary will respond for the Government.

The MPs called for the debate following the Commons statement by the Home Secretary announcing that the Government would introduce amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders last Thursday (26th January) to bring in a cashless system for the scrap metal industry.

The debate will be led by Graham Jones MP and Chris Kelly MP, joint chairmen of the All-Party Group and Vice Chairman Robin Walker MP.

The motion, which is subject to a vote, calls on the Government to urgently introduce a package of measures to coincide with the cashless system. Specifically:

  • A robust licensing scheme for scrap metal dealers to replace the present registration scheme

  • A licence fee to fund the regulation of the licence

  • Greater police powers to close unscrupulous scrap metal dealers in line with alcohol licensing

  • Police authority to search and investigate all premises owned and operated by scrap metal dealers

  • Use of photo identification and CCTV to identify sellers of scrap metal, and their vehicles

  • Vehicle badging for mobile scrap metal dealers

  • Magistrates' powers to add licence restrictions and prevent closed yards from re-opening

Commenting on the Backbench Business Committee decision to agree to the debate Chris Kelly MP said:

“The Committee has clearly acknowledged the vital importance of this issue and that we need to get the legislation right.”

Graham Jones MP said:

“This widely-supported motion calls on the Home Secretary to give a firm assurance that scrap metal legislation will be brought forward at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Robin Walker MP said:

“Metal theft is affecting all aspects of our society and jeopardising vital services. Action is needed now to put a stop to it.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

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 MCIPR
Press and Public Affairs Executive
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
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