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Metal Recycling News December 13, 2017 01:30:28 PM

Scrap Metal Theft Incidents Witnessed Drastic Decline

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The offences recorded by police in England and Wales has reduced by nearly 79% from 62,997 offences in 2012-’13 to 12,970 offences in 2016-’17.
Scrap Metal Theft Incidents Witnessed Drastic Decline

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): A review of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department has recommended retention of the act. The recommendation comes in the light of drastic decline in metal theft incidents over the past four years since its implementation in October 2013. The review revealed that the number of metal thefts has fallen rapidly from nearly 62,000 per year in 2012-’13 to as low as 16,000 per year in 2015-’16, dropping by more than 75%.

In accordance with Section 18 of the Act, the Secretary of State is supposed to conduct a review of the Act within five years from its date of implementation. Although the review comes due only by 30th September, 2018, the Home Office had decided to conduct an early review, following requests for review ahead of schedule by several interested parties including the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) - the trade association that collectively represents the UK’s metal recycling sector.

Consequently, the Home Office had sought views on the contributions of the Act from interested parties. Nearly 50 individuals and organizations had submitted their views. A large majority of respondents highlighted the need to retain the Act, whereas only three demanded that the Act be repealed. Respondents also provided suggestions to further strengthen the existing legislation and emphasized the need for such legislation to be accompanied by more effective and reliable enforcement.

Based on views expressed by various stakeholders, the Home Office concluded that at least 30% of the total 75% fall in scrap metal theft incidents is attributed solely to the Act, whereas the balance is attributable to other factors including falling prices. The data collected from police forces suggests sharp fall in number of metal theft offences over the past five years. The offences recorded by police in England and Wales has reduced by nearly 79% from 62,997 offences in 2012-’13 to 12,970 offences in 2016-’17.

Meantime, the BMRA stated that it is dismayed that the Home Office has decided not to strengthen the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. Further, it expressed disappointment that the Home Office has not allocated additional funds to ensure proper enforcement of the Act. The Government has taken a path of resistance, it said. BMRA also warned that further recovery in scrap metal prices could lead to sharp rise in metal theft incidents.

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