BMRA calls for 'immediate action' as metal theft grows

United Kingdom: When the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act was implemented in the UK four years ago, the government and police were convinced that the cash payments ban and enhanced identity checks ‘would choke off outlets for stolen metal for good’. Since then, however, enforcement funding ‘has been cut and cut and cut’ to the point where ‘there is now no metal theft task force, few dedicated police officers and no appetite for going after yards openly paying cash for scrap metal’, the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) laments.

Initially, metal thefts were driven down by funded interventions and by the fact that ‘metal prices were crashing all around us’. Now, however, ‘metal prices are on the rise and so are thefts’, the association reports. In the past few weeks alone, it notes by way of example, more than 8 km of copper cable has been stolen directly from the ground in the north of England and Scotland.

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