Scrap metal theft crackdown unveiled in Erith

PUBLISHED: 10:24 08 November 2012

Measures intended to clamp out metal theft were introduced in Erith yesterday to try and clamp down on people stealing from war memorials among other sites.

Home Office minister Jeremy Browne visited the war memorial that was recently damaged by thieves.

The Scrap Metal Dealer’s Bill, which comes into effect on December 3, aims to increase financial penalties judges can hand metal thieves and give police new powers to tackle scrap dealers who do not comply with regulations.

Mr Browne said: “Thieves targeting commemorative plaques and memorials show and utter disregard for the memory of the courageous men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

“That is why I welcome the success by the police in bringing thieves to justice. We are now seeing significant reductions in metal crime across the UK.”

In October, the War Memorials Trust said thefts from its managed sites had fallen by two-thirds in the past year, but warned that there was still a worrying number taking place.

There are about 1,000 metal thefts a week, costing the UK some £220m a year.

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