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South Croydon MP's Bill on scrap metal to become law at the end of the month

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MEASURES driven by Croydon South MP Richard Ottaway to crack down on metal theft and the desecration of war memorials become law at the end the month.

Mr Ottaway's Private Members' Scrap Metal Dealers' Bill received its third reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday and is now expected to get Royal Assent on February 28.

The Bill proposes a wholescale reform of the £5.6bn scrap metal industry and is aimed at controlling rogue dealers who are the main outlet for stolen metal.

Once the Bill becomes law, all scrap metal dealers will go through a tougher process before being granted a local authority licence.

In addition, all sellers of metal must provide verifiable ID at the point of sale; no cash deals will be allowed and police will have the power by court order to close unlicensed premises.

The worst breaches of the law, including trading in cash, failing to keep accurate records of deals and unlicensed trading, will face unlimited fines.

Mr Ottaway said: "Today marks a significant victory for communities throughout the country.

"For too long they have provided rich feeding grounds for opportunistic thieves who know they can get rid of stolen metals at rogue or negligent scrap yards.

"Metal theft is no petty crime. It hits at the heart of our daily lives – grinding trains to a halt, cutting off power supplies to hospitals and other lifelines, stripping roofs off churches and schools at huge public expense."

He added: "Even more sickening are the attacks on our crematoriums and war memorials commemorating the nation's war dead.

"It is particularly fitting therefore that this Bill will be made law this year, in time for the centenary of the First World War."

South Croydon MP's Bill on scrap metal to become law at the end of the month


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