An e-petition calling on the Home Office to amend the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 – to prohibit cash transactions in an effort to reduce metal theft – has received over 16,000 signatures so far.
Metal theft is a significant and increasing problem in the UK. Historically the scrap metal trade has been a cash-in-hand industry (leaving no audit trail, making identification of suspected metal thieves tricky). The amendment the petition calls for would make payment by cheque or directly into a bank account mandatory, which could help to reduce metal theft.
The petition states:
Due to a significant rise in value, metal has become a much sought after commodity. This increased demand has resulted in a sharp rise in metal theft nationally. Metal fencing, gates, manhole covers and other metallic items are stolen on a regular basis. Property is raided for lead, copper and cabling. War memorials and statues have been taken. Overhead power lines are stolen at serious risk to personal safety with huge costs for replacement and major inconvenience to the public. Historically the scrap metal trade has been a cash in hand industry. This creates difficulties as there is no audit trail, making identification of individuals who may be trading stolen metal or who may be committing tax or benefits fraud, a difficult proposition. An amendment to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 to prohibit cash transactions would make payment by cheque or directly into a bank account mandatory and would be a significant component in reducing metal theft.
As IHBC has joined the English Heritage Alliance to Reduce Crime Against Heritage (ARCH), you are urged to personally support this campaign by signing the petition set up on the Government’s e-petition website: LINK
As of 13-10-2011 there had been, encouragingly, over 16,600 signatories.
The petition is open until August 2012 but please don’t delay.
View the petition at: LINK
Further details: LINK