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Church Calls For Metal Theft Crackdown

The Church of England has called for greater regulation of scrap yards to curb spiralling insurance claims caused by lead thefts from churches.

Church Commissioner Tony Baldry MP, citing figures showing that Manchester suffers more lead theft than any other part of the UK, told the House of Commons yesterday that the Church has recommended to the Home Office that the scrap metal industry should be better regulated.

He said: “Regulation of scrap yards is fundamental to reducing the level of metal theft. It is all too easy for roofs to be stripped of lead one night and the lead to be sold for cash the next day.

“We want cash transactions for lead to be made illegal, a requirement for scrap yards receiving lead or traders selling it to be licensed specially for that activity, a requirement to show documentary proof of identification when selling lead and to photograph each person when their identity is checked, and a requirement on scrap yards to report suspicious activity or persons to local police forces.

“It is difficult to underestimate the damage that this is doing.”

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