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Rail industry calls for scrap metal legislation reform
 
In an open letter to the Sunday Times (29 April), Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies and Rail Freight Group called for full reform of the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act.
The reformed Act would include an updated, fully funded licensing scheme to replace the voluntary registration currently in place. It would also include a requirement for scrap metal dealers to require proof of identity and to keep adequate records about their customers.

Magistrates should also have the power to impose restrictions upon, and ultimately enforce the closure of, yards that fail to keep to the law. The government has indicated that cash transactions for scrap will be outlawed. Network Rail has said that efforts by the rail industry to `stop the cost and misery caused by cable thieves` are having an impact. Crimes affecting train services were down 15% in 2011/12 to 844 incidents from 995 the previous year.

However the total direct cost to the industry, and ultimately the taxpayer and country, continues to rise from £16.4m to £18.3m; an increase of 12% ‘because the thefts have spread to busier and more complex parts of the network’. Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “We are determined to stamp out the working practices which reward thieves. I am pleased we are now seeing some real, effective prosecutions and have the ability to send out the real message that it is simply not worth trying to steal metal because we are on the case.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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