Local MP calls for urgent action against metal thieves

Chuka Umunna MP has spoken out about the problem of metal theft which he says is blighting the lives and livelihoods of many people locally.  

The rising levels of metal theft have seen Church roofs stolen and even instances of war memorials being vandalized so that plaques could be sold for scrap. Metal theft has also delayed local commuters, harming the ability of people to get to work and of business to operate; a huge burden in tough economic times.

Streatham MP Chuka Umunna has criticized the Government for failing to stop spiralling metal thefts and has joined with other Labour MPs to press for an immediate plan of action. The Labour plan, which has been supported by the British Transport Police, the Association of Chief Police Officers and by Neighborhood Watch is designed to stop metal theft damaging the economy, to ensure people can get to work and to better bring people to justice.

The Labour plan is to transform legislation concerning scrap metal dealers by replacing the current requirement to register with a Local Authority and replace it with a licensing system; to examine the case for banning cash transactions, especially for large scale scrap metal transactions; and to require anyone selling scrap metal to provide proof of identity, recorded at the point of sale. The Labour MPs also want tougher Police powers so that rouge traders can be closed down

Commenting, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“The actions of a few are blighting our community; making it difficult for people to get to work; difficult for people to go into their own churches to pray and, horrifically, even desecrating the memory of those we have lost in war. The Conservative-led Government talked tough on crime now I would like it to prove to a doubting public that they are capable of more than merely empty words.”

“I and other Labour MPs have given the Government a plan. It is one that is good for my constituents, good for our economy and essential to enforce the rules of a decent society. I call on the Government to start paying attention to one of the many serious pressing concerns that ordinary hard-working people have and of which this Government is proving too aloof to take notice.”

“We have given the Conservative-led Government a plan. They have no excuse not to act”