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Thefts: Metals

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to reduce the incidence of metal thefts from ecclesiastical properties in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire; and if she will make a statement. (190915)

[holding answer 3 March 2008]: We are working closely with a range of stakeholders, other Government Departments and the police to develop a response to tackle these crimes.

I am aware that theft of metals is a growing concern which affects business, transport, communication and ecclesiastical properties.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has set up a working group, chaired by the British Transport Police and with Home Office representation. The group is developing an action plan to address the problem from national co-ordination to local responses to tackle metal thieves, including an examination of the effectiveness of current legislation relating to scrap metal recycling.

A national day of action was held at the end of January. In Cambridgeshire this resulted in several arrests in addition to checks being made on scrap metal dealers.