Catalytic Converters: Theft

Home Office written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of (a) trends in the level of theft of catalytic convertors and (b) the involvement of those thefts in wider organised crime.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) collects data on incidents regarding theft from a vehicle, including details of the items stolen, such as car parts. The number of incidents identified involving the theft of a catalytic converter are too small to provide a reliable estimate.

Since the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, there has been a steady downward trend in metal-related thefts, with recorded offences of metal theft having decreased by 74% from the year ending March 2013 to year ending March 2020. However, infrastructure-related metal thefts, which include catalytic converters, have increased by 21% in the year ending March 2020.

No assessment has been made as to the involvement of organised criminals in catalytic converter theft.

The Government recognises the negative impact this crime has on industry and the public, causing distress and disruption to victims. We continue to work to understand what more can be done to tackle the theft of catalytic converters. In May I held a meeting with representatives of the motor industry to discuss vehicle crime, including the theft of catalytic converters.

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