The government is urged to review its laws on metal scrappage

More than 80 operations were cancelled yesterday following a theft of copper cables from Llandough Hospital near Cardiff.

The shocking theft which is the latest in a series of metal raids across the country, especially as there has been a recent rise in copper price, suggest more measures need to be taken to deal with the problem.

A leading copper producer in the North of England has appealed for more regulations on metal scrappage across the county. The call comes as metal theft continues to rise which causes great concerns amongst plumbers and communities across Britain.

In other parts of Europe when people trade in scrap metal they are required to provide full bank and personal details which deters theft and ensures that dealers are accountable for the goods they receive.

Neil Overton, commercial director of Yorkshire Copper Tube, has called for the government to review its laws on metal scrappage to help plumbers across the UK and improve existing regulations.

Mr Overton expressed concerns about the rising prices of copper and other scrapping metals which has been causing disruptions in all sectors of the building industry. Last month, it was reported that thieves had stolen street lightening cables causing blackouts on major roads in England.

Commenting on existing regulations in other European countries Mr Overton said:”They are flabbergasted by how relaxed the laws are in the UK for regulating the sale of scrap metal and we are urging the Government to have a rethink to help small businesses across the UK.

One such business is AT Plumbing in Cheltenham which experienced metal theft at the owner’s home twice in one day in November.

After reading about the company’s plight in the Gloucester Echo, Mr Overton met Owen Thomas, who runs the plumbing business, to present him with £300 worth of copper tube to replace what had been stolen.

“While we are unable replace everyone’s stolen copper we are able to use our position in the industry to call for a change to scrappage laws, which is something we will be focusing on in 2012,” said Mr Overton.

What is your opinion on existing scrapping schemes in Britain? Do regulations in the scrapping business allow thieves to get away with no consequences? 


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Posted on December 15, 2011, in construction news, Electrical News, electrician, plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, t4ts, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Certainly agree that some form of identity should be required, though the thought of it being bank details I would find rather disturbing! I think maybe a passport, driving licence would be more appropriate. This seems to be an increasingly growing problem here in the uk, I only see it growing as employment figures fall, and little is done to police scrapping. These people obviously see metal theft as an easy way to get fast money. Maybe payments for scrap metal should only be made by cheque, therefore traceable, and reducing the appeal to the average Pikey or Smack rat. Along with more accountability of the scrap dealers who turn a blind eye to what are often obviously stolen items.

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