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Wreck Salvage Offences

Volume 456: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were convicted of offences related to taking goods and other material washed up from a wreck in each year since 1981. (111647)

Under sections 237 (2), 245 and 246 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, prosecutions can be brought for various offences related to the possession or sale of goods taken from a shipwreck. Under section 236 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 prosecutions can be brought for failure to report any wreck material to the Receiver of Wreck.

The Maritime and Coastguard agency advises that there have been no prosecutions for these offences since 1993. The role of Receiver of Wreck was centralised and taken on by the (then) Coastguard Agency in 1993, so data from 1981-1992 are not available as the role was then dealt with on a local basis by Customs and Excise.