Latest Rail News

18.06.12

Industry welcomes proposed new cable theft law

A new law could be introduced to tackle scrap metal, as a Private Members Bill is due to be introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

Richard Ottaway, Conservative MP for Croydon South, has outlined plans to re-regulate the scrap metal industry and tackle cable theft.

The bill will include tougher rules for dealers who want licences, greater powers for police and local authorities to suspend and revoke licences, a single national register of licensed dealers and dealers required to complete more detailed records of transactions.

Ottaway told Materials Recycling Week: “I hope my bill will provide the strong legislative framework so desperately needed to empower our local councils and police forces in their fight against offenders who willfully plunder this country of metal. I am absolutely committed to take this important step to tackling the market that is driving this crime.” 

Network Rail welcomed the news. Neil Henry, head of operations and performance said: “Metal thieves directly cost the railway around £19m each year, with the knock-on costs and disruption to the economy around the same amount again.

“Reform that effectively takes away the illegal market in scrap metal; which includes an effective licensing regime and adequate power to police and magistrates is sorely needed to help stamp out the misery caused by these thieves.”

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC said: “The proposed powers will send a clear signal to criminals and rogue traders that dealing in stolen metal could lead to unlimited fines, removal of operating licences and even long terms in prison.

“Giving police and local councils the power to search and investigate scrap yards suspected of dealing in stolen metal, and if necessary close them down, will help stop metal theft in its tracks.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. BTP

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