Monday, 9 January 2012

Government must act on metal theft

“The government must act soon to force scrap yards to abandon the use of cash in an effort to crack down on the growing problem of metal theft,” said Cllr Richard Chattaway who represents Bede Ward in Bedworth today.

“Metal theft is now at epidemic proportions, with thefts in Bedworth from garage roofs and porches. For example, in recent months in Rectory Drive and Edward Tyler Road a number of garages and buildings were done by thieves. The price of scrap metal is rising, so it will increase as a problem if it’s not nipped in the bud.

“The police have a big problem with metal theft. Frankly there is only so much they can do. Thieves nick the lead and sell it in scrap yards for cash and it is melted down quickly. It is difficult to trace. So the police have to look at the handlers of stolen metal who are some scrap yard owners who take things without asking questions.

“For months the government have been dithering about doing something. They need to prevent thieves thinking it is easy to get rid of metal. The government have said it is looking at creating a system enabling transactions to be traced, with registration of dealers together with identification checks being carried out on sellers. Most of the better scrap yards are generally supporting the proposal. The government are dithering because it will mean more regulation of business and they have a policy of not doing that. But many of the better scrap businesses support some regulation to take out the dodgy dealers.

“A step further would be to ban cash transactions. It would mean that all transactions would be by cheque or card so that money could be traced from one account to another. If a seller is later found out to be a thief, the police could trace his account to find out which scrap yard had paid him money. It would also be possible if a scrapyard dealer is found to be handling stolen goods, to trace all the people he has bought things from by using his bank account. There is greater controversy around this because some dealers claim it will drive dealing underground. Actually, dealing is on the hidden black market anyway and I think the government has got to crackdown. I support a move to a cashless system.”

Cllr Richard Chattaway

Bede Ward, Bedworth – Labour
Tel 07932750853

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