SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) has proposed several steps to curb rising number of scrap metal theft incidents. The Association has called for re-instatement of the metal theft task force and proper funding for enforcement so as to ensure strict enforcement of Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. Also, it has demanded that the metal dealer licensing process should be overseen by the Environment Agency (EA) rather than local authorities.
According to investigation carried out by the BBC, the delay caused to rail passengers on account of copper cable thefts has peaked to touch five-year high in 2018. The hours of delay has surged higher significantly from 400 across 3,000 journeys in 2016-’17 to nearly 950 across 7,000 journeys in 2017-’18 in England, Wales and Scotland. Also, more than 75% of the trains affected were in the vicinity of London, BBC investigation data said.
BMRA spokesperson Antonia Grey noted that metal prices have surged higher and funding for enforcement has dropped down significantly. The most recent data published by the Office for National Statistics suggests notable jump in scrap metal theft incidents during the one-year period ended 31st March, 2018. The lack of proper enforcement due to lack of funding has led to widespread operation of illegal and unlicensed scrap yards across the country, who pay cash for metal.
Re-establishment of metal theft task force and implementation of EA-controlled licensing procedure will help in curbing unlicensed operators, BMRA noted.