Tougher legislation on metal theft

Thursday, 25 October, 2012

Changes to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO)
Act will outlaw all cash transactions at metal recycling yards across England
and Wales and there will be a significant increase in fines for those dealers who
fail to abide by the rules.

ACPO lead on metal theft Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: "For some time police forces and colleagues across several industries have called for tougher legislation in respect of metal theft. The revision of the LASPO Act will provide us with the first significant change in metal recycling legislation since 1964. "The measures introduced will seriously curtail the market for stolen metal as there will now be a clear audit trail back to those bringing commodities into recycling yards and severe sanctions for those who step out of line."

Nationally, metal theft has risen in prominence during the past 18 months as thieves have targeted metal vital to the national infrastructure. Railway cable, power cable, communication lines and street furniture have all been taken by criminals looking to exploit the cash-based system at disreputable dealers. Police and partners have expended a huge amount of energy working to educate dealers on identifying the signs that metal has been stolen, as well as introducing schemes to make life more difficult for those dealers willing to operate outside of the law. Despite this metal has remained a viable target for criminals, who have proven they are not averse to plundering even the most sentimental targets such as graveyards and war memorials. It is hoped that tougher legislation, will finally drive home the message that metal theft will no longer pay.

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