Local MP backs tougher measures to tackle memorial vandalism

November 15, 2012 10:39 AM

MP for Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake is giving his full support to the plan to impose tough new penalties on people who steal or sell metal from war memorials, which will give police more powers to target traders of illicit scrap metal.

Tom said "Just over a year ago, fourteen individual plaques commemorating the brave soldiers who gave their lives in World War I were stolen from the Carshalton memorial. Such disgraceful activity has no place in a community that honours its war dead, and these new measures will ensure that everything is done to bring these thieves to justice."

Estimates for the costs of damage range as high as £770 million every year, with 1,000 offences occurring every week. The bill will require scrap metal dealers to complete a thorough application process and possess a license that can be revoked if unscrupulous dealings are made.

Tom said "I am proud that the Coalition Government is doing the right thing in backing measures to crack down on this outrageous crime by tackling scrap metal theft."

Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Crime Prevention Minister, Jeremy Browne said:

"These thieves show an utter disregard for the memory of the courageous men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The Coalition Government is determined to stamp out this illegal trade, which in recent years has cast a shadow over Remembrance Sunday for bereaved families. That is why we are reforming the scrap metal industry to support legitimate dealers and tighten the net around those who flout the rules."

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