An online petition which calls for a change in the law to make scrap metal less attractive to thieves has attracted over 15,000 signatures.
The e-petition on the HM Government website calls for the Home Office to amend the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 to stop people paying cash for scrap.
“Due to a significant rise in value, metal has become a much sought after commodity,” says the petition.
“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.”
The petition says that historically the scrap metal trade has been a cash-in-hand industry, but this makes identifying individuals who may be trading stolen metal difficult to trace.
It says an amendment to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 – to make payment by cheque or directly into a bank account mandatory – would be a significant component in reducing metal theft.
* Have you had scrap metal stolen? Add your crime to the Farmers Weekly crime register.