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Industry Welcomes Progress of Scrap Metal Dealers Bill

The theft of metal is a growing problem in the UK affecting many industry sectors. The current cost to the UK economy of metal theft is estimated at 770 million a year. The UK LPG industry estimates that last year 200,000 gas cylinders were stolen across the UK by scrap metal thieves, at a cost to the industry of 9 million.

A group of companies and industries serving millions of people across the UK is delighted by the successful third reading of MP Richard Ottaway’s Private Members Bill. The bill will help put a stop to the huge distress, economic damage and loss of life, caused by metal theft.

The new Scrap Metal Dealers Bill will now go to the House of Lords to help eradicatethe effects of metal theft crimes, ranging from the widespread desecration of warmemorials and remembrance plaques, through to train delays and the loss of vitalcommunications services, which are relied upon by the emergency services andvulnerable groups in the community.

Criminals have taken to stealing lead from church roofs and war memorials, coppercables from train and telecommunications networks, street furniture like bus sheltersand drain covers, and even gas bottles and supermarket trolleys. As well as the costand inconvenience caused, this also leads to thousands of hours of lost workproductivity each year. People have also died trying to steal copper from rail andpower networks, whilst vulnerable people – such as the elderly and disabled – havebeen prevented from reaching the emergency services.

MPs with concerns on the bill reached a compromise with its supporters to review thebill in three years time, with a sunset clause for five years. This gives time to evaluatethe bill in action and revise it if necessary.

A spokesman for the industry group said: “We are delighted that the bill has passedits third reading and would like to thank Richard Ottaway MP and all the supporters ofthe bill. We would also like to acknowledge and welcome the compromise reachedwith Philip Davies MP over his concerns. We hope we can demonstrate that the billworks in the coming years.”

Companies and Organisations Involved:

Alchemy Metals


British Metals Recylcing Association.


Calor Gas Ltd.

Electrical Safety Council

Energy Networks Association


Network Rail

Rail Freight Group



UK Power Networks.