Backbench Business — [Unallotted half day] — Metal Theft
David Wright (Opposition Whip (Commons); Telford, Labour)
I do, and I shall come on to the gangs who travel round estates taking property from people, often from their premises. Those gangs may do a good job clearing up material that would otherwise be fly-tipped, but they need to do it with permission, and they should be regulated.
I have been contacted by the chairman of my police authority in West Mercia, who told me that there has been an alarming increase in the number of recorded metal theft offences. An additional 131 offences were recorded when comparing April to December 2011 to April to December 2010—a 12% rise—and those figures exclude the figures for the theft of catalytic converters, which have risen by 152%, and of lead flashings, which have shown a 92% rise.