Local MP backs urgent action to stop cable theft
3:27pm 26th January 2012
On Thursday 26th January 2012, the Transport Select Committee released a statement calling on the Government to reform regulation of the scrap metal industry as part of wider measures to tackle the increase in metal theft.
As a member of the Transport Select Committee, Julian Sturdy, Member of Parliament for York Outer, has urged the Government to heed the Committee's advice and move quickly to tackle this rising and disruptive form of crime.
Last year alone over 35,000 railway journeys were delayed or cancelled as a result of cable theft on the railway costing Network Rail over £16 million.
Pushing the Government to act quickly, Mr Sturdy said:
"Cable theft across the railways is costing local and regional economies millions of pounds in unnecessary delays and cancellations; as well as clogging up rail lines and causing massive disruption to hard-working commuters. Metal theft as a whole is increasing and it is time for tough new legislation to be introduced without hesitation.
"The audit trail generated by the scrap metal industry must be radically improved whilst the British Transport Police simply require greater powers and resources to clamp down on illegal scrap metal dealers. These recommendations are amongst a raft of suggestions put forward by the cross-party Select Committee and I would urge the Government to begin to implement them."
The Committee has recommended the following:
- The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 should be reformed so that individuals selling metal have to provide proof of their identity before a transaction can take place
- The Government should test the use of cashless trading in the scrap metal industry
- There should be greater clarity around compensation arrangements so that train operators cannot profit from disruption caused by cable theft
- Network Rail should develop a costed programme of measures to make cable more difficult to steal
- The Department should update the Committee on work being undertaken to help passengers stranded on trains near stations to complete their journey.
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