Conservative MP for South Croydon Richard Ottaway has vowed to tackle outdated legislation in his Private Member’s Bill to reform the scrap metal industry.
Ottaway who came second in the ballot for a Private Member’s Bill, says he will find ways of ensuring that the impact of metal theft crime is taken fully into account. He has set his sights on the scourge of churches, war memorials, telecoms networks and railway lines.
Tougher industry trading standards will make it harder to purchase stolen metal and will aim to reduce theft overall and will empower local authorities to tackle illegal behaviour by the scrap metal industry.
Richard Ottaway said: “Across the UK, public buildings, memorial, churches, transport and telecommunication infrastructure are being increasingly targeted by metal thieves who sell on the stolen material.
“Last year 36,000 rail services across Great Britain were disrupted as a result of metal theft, affecting 3.8 million passenger journeys. Croydon was the target of eight per cent of all metal theft incidents in London, with some areas in my constituency being targeted several times.
“We need new legislation to disrupt and then shut down the trade in stolen metal, taking action against those stealing it and selling it on. It is time to look at the sentencing guidelines to see if they need strengthening to ensure the full impact of metal theft crime is taken into account.”
The Government has said it will support the Private Member’s Bill from Richard Ottaway.
Earlier last year MP Graham Jones failed in his bid to reform the scrap metal industry when the Government decided not to back his own Private Member’s Bill.