Clarke calls for tougher laws to curb scrap metal theft

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Friday, May 18th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke is calling for changes in the law regarding scrap metal merchants in order to make it more difficult for thieves to profit from the theft of scrap metal. Clarke wants to see a change in legislation which would make it more difficult for thieves to exchange metal for cash and would force scrap merchants to pay for metal via cheque or electronic bank transfer and request proper forms of legal photographic ID to prove name and address of the sellers. Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke stated: “Metal thefts are becoming a major and very serious problem across County Down recently with incidents affecting not only our schools, churches, civic buildings but also empty buildings and tourist attractions. Regrettably, there seems to be an alarming increase in metal theft but the time has now come for tougher legislation regarding metal theft and also how scrap metal merchants carry out and conduct business transactions with scrap metal sellers.” He continued, “We need to realise that the illegal trade of metal is dramatically increasing and affecting local communities due to criminals stealing metal from buildings and selling to scrap metal merchants. If scrap metal merchants were to pay via a traceable method of payment then it would make it far easier for police to track down thieves and result in an overall reduction in metal thefts and bring the criminals to justice. I would like to see a change in legislation which would make it more difficult for thieves to exchange metal for cash.” “I would therefore urge that tougher legislation be introduced regarding scrap metal thefts and how scrap merchants conduct their business when purchasing metal,” Clarke added.
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