Yesterday I spoke at the Scrap Metal Theft backbench Debate.
In Manchester £1m of damage has been caused to Church roofs in the last five years (including Southern Cemetery here) it has also had a huge impact on railways costing Network Rail £43m in the past three years.
There has also been a trend to steal drain gully tops creating a real hazard to the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, as gaping holes are created on the road next to the pavement. In Manchester they are now replacing these with plastic alternatives. The Councillor for Burnage at the time, John Cameron, said it would make sense to replace them all with the plastic alternative rather than wait for the metal thieves to steal them.
It’s a shame that Manchester City Council did not listen to the advice of John Cameron when he spotted the pattern as they could have made quite the pretty penny given how high the price of scrap metal was (as still is) at the time!
The Government have responded swiftly to try and combat metal theft, providing £5 million to establish a dedicated metal theft taskforce that will improve law enforcement on the illegal sale of scrap metals.
Clearly the scrap metal trade is the weak link in efforts to combat metal theft crime and there’s more work to be done there to bring about a reduction in scrap metal theft.
You can watch a video of the debate here: (My speech starts around 17mins in).
You can read the full debate here: (I spoke at 8.38pm)