Cash ban tackles metal theft crime

Cash ban and police efforts deliver 60% reduction in metal theft attacks.

Cash for metalLatest figures from Energy Networks Association (ENA), the voice of the transmission and distribution energy networks in the UK and Ireland, have shown 30% drop immediately following the ban on cash transactions for scrap metal trade and almost 60% as a result of the continued efforts of the police’s Metal Theft Taskforce.

The ban on scrap metal dealers giving cash payments for scrap metal, a process so without sufficient checks as to aid the disposal of stolen metal, came into effect on 3 December 2012. The Metal Theft Taskforce, as part of British Transport Police, has been operating since December 2011 and has lead a concerted effort and resource commitment from police forces, local authorities and other enforcement bodies to bring about a marked reduction in the crime and making numerous arrests and convictions.

ENA Chief Executive David Smith said: “There can be no doubt that the ban on cash transactions has delivered the result we said it would. We have lead a campaign for a change in the law for over 2 years and the cash ban was a key part of this. We urgently need the new laws of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill to underpin this cash ban and implement the licensing scheme and other measures that will deal a lasting blow to thieves.

“Enforcement is crucial to successfully stamping out this plague on society. Since BTP’s Metal Theft Taskforce was brought in a little over a year ago there has been a marked decrease in incidents and have dramatically dropped when the Chancellor provided further funding to boost their work. It is disappointing that the continuation of this funding is in doubt at a critical time for continued action to tackle this dangerous and destructive crime.”