The CLA today (8 February) welcomed the confirmation by two Government ministers of a clampdown on metal theft by taking the cash out of the system and introducing sentences that reflect the consequences of the crime.
However, the Association said the case has not yet been made for a new regulatory structure in the scrap metal industry.
Responding to comments today by Environment Minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach and Home Office minister Lord Henley, CLA Deputy President Henry Robinson said it is good Defra recognises the need to fight metal theft as part of its waste management remit but it needs to look at it from a rural perspective.
Mr Robinson said: "Our 'Scrap the Cash' Campaign called for cash payments for scrap metal to be banned, making it harder for metal thieves to offload their ill-gotten gains, so we are pleased by Lord Henley's confirmation today that the Government will be taking our advice.
"We advocate the proposal to make sentences proportionate to the severity and consequences of the crime. This could have a significant impact on the level of metal theft. However, we do not believe the case has been made yet for a more bureaucratic system of regulation for the scrap metal business that the Government is facing from a range of interest groups."