Edward Leigh MP has again called in Parliament for tougher rules on scrap metal in order to put an end to thefts which
have desecrated war memorials, ruined medieval churches, and delayed millions of train passengers.
He was speaking in support of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill, currently before Parliament. He called for the government to accept a proposal for minimum terms of two and three years in prison for those convicted for a second or third time of stealing scrap metal from churches, war memorials, the emergency services, or where significant disruption has been caused.
Speaking to Jeremy Browne, the government minister responsible, in the House of Commons, Mr Leigh said:
“As a victim of scrap metal crime myself, like many others, I am strongly in favour of this Bill. I urge the Minister to ensure that this bill becomes law … , because out there, the churches and many members of the public want this.”
Afterwards, he said,
“Around remembrance Sunday more than ever, it is important that we put a stop to these despicable criminals once and for all. Stealing from and smashing a war memorial, erected to honour those who gave their lives for us, is disgraceful.
“As someone who has had my whole house flooded by mindless scrap metal thieves, I hope that we can end this crime in all its forms. However, it is important to recognise that desecrating war memorials and churches is a crime on a different level, and I support a very stiff penalty to reflect that.”
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