Yards Are Fueling Theft

It is estimated there are about 800 illegal yards operating in the UK, the same number as legal yards.

“I have seen advertisements indicating that some scrap metal yards are quite prepared to take things, and more or less say ‘no questions asked’,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Thursday.

“They know perfectly well that handling stolen property is just as bad a crime and in fact has a bigger sentence …. than theft itself. If they know or suspect it is stolen property they should not be handling it.

“The industry should clean up its act. I think it is likely we will have to regulate and will have to improve the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which colleagues have been saying is well past its sell by date.”

His comments come after The Daily Telegraph disclosed that metal theft has reached "epidemic" proportions in Britain with more than 1,000 offences taking place every week.

According to official figures obtained by this newspaper, the number of thefts has doubled in five years with 60,000 offences in the first 10 months of this year alone.

Thieves have targeted railway lines, church roofs, community centres, war memorials, irreplaceable works of art, manhole covers and even plaques in cemeteries.

Full story and copyright Telegraph scrap metal dealers fueling theft with no questions