Amendment 292Q

Part of Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - Committee (11th Day) – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 24th November 2021.

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Photo of Lord Birt Lord Birt Crossbench 7:45 pm, 24th November 2021

My Lords, I shall speak briefly in support of the amendment tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner. He and I sit together on the APPG. This is a highly organised crime committed by gangs and it has a devastating impact not only on our national infrastructure but on many—primarily rural—communities. In the year to March 2020, 36,000 metal thefts were recorded by the police. Just last week the Countryside Alliance, as a result of FoI requests from police forces, identified that 1,500 lead and metal thefts since 2017 were from churches. Theft of lead from church roofs can have a devastating impact on local communities. I have had direct experience of that, which is why I joined the noble Lord’s group.

As the noble Lord said, adverts offering “cash for scrap” are now widespread. The 2013 Act made it illegal to pay cash for scrap metal but not to receive it. This amendment closes that glaring loophole. I very much hope that the Government will support it.