MPs should be ashamed of their attitude towards war memorial theft

For immediate release – 8 November 2012

Two MPs (Philip Davies MP for Shipley and Chris Chope MP for Christchurch) are planning to kill a crucial Bill that will be presented tomorrow (Friday), two days before Remembrance Sunday, which if passed would deal a lasting blow to the desecration of war memorials for scrap metal.

But at a time when the nation remembers the ultimate sacrifice of those who have given their lives in the service of their country, this pivotal moment to pass tough new laws might be sabotaged if these two MPs choose to oppose it. 2011 saw an average of an attack every week on a war memorial and so far over 80 since January last year.

Tony Glover, Director of Policy at Energy Networks Association, speaking as part of a group of industries and charities supporting the Bill, said:

“Opposition to this Bill is quite frankly bonkers and those who do tomorrow should be ashamed of their part in the insult of continuing to allow thieves to steal from memorials, our heritage and our vital services. We urgently call on those planning to jeopardise the Bill to think again, very hard, about the impact of their decision.

“It is understood that two MPs plan to use the underhand and old-fashioned Parliamentary tactic of talking out a Bill to kill it off. This is precisely why voters despair at those who profess to maintain the nation’s democracy.

Mr Davies’ is known for opposing regulation and has suggested that his opposition is based on this belief. Addressing this issue, Tony said:

“This is in no way burdensome regulation and has the full support of the metal recycling industry both large and small companies. This is about legitimate dealers unwittingly being infected by illegitimate and illegal metal. Those committing the crime and those allowing them to benefit from it are both guilty of a destructive crime.

“We regulate our high street chemists to ensure only those most suitable supply only approved drugs and we don’t allow anyone to just open a shop selling heroine or cocaine as easily as paracetemol. The metal recycling industry needs and wants effective legislation like this.”

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill would introduce measures to make it almost impossible for thieves to benefit from the theft of metal by requiring proof of ID, proper record keeping and tighter rules on itinerant collectors. It could stop the theft from war memorials; energy, transport and telecommunications networks; and the UKs heritage.

ENDS

ENA is working as part of a group of effected industries and charities such as BT, Network Rail, Church of England, War Memorials Trust and many others.

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,
Head of Press and Public Affairs
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758
W: www.energynetworks.org

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