Monday, 19 December 2011

My Private Members Bill takes another step forward

Margot James (Stourbridge) (Con): Metal theft is a scourge across the entire country and yesterday my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley South (Chris Kelly) and I met the Minister responsible at the Home Office, Lord Henley, and found much agreement with the provisions in the Bill promoted by the hon. Member for Hyndburn (Graham Jones), which has widespread cross-party support. Will my right hon. Friend ask the Home Secretary for a statement on this subject as a matter of urgency when the House returns in January?

Sir George Young: I think I am right in saying that there was an exchange on metal theft during Home Office questions on Monday. I can confirm that we are considering a range of measures, which include banning cash payments, supporting scrap metal dealers in identifying stolen metal and seeing how we can make it more difficult to steal such types of metals. We are also working with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the British Transport police have set up a new unit, but I will pass on my hon. Friend’s suggestion that we reconsider the (Graham Jones's) private Member’s Bill to see whether we can make swift progress.