According to the Energy Networks Association, there were an estimated 100 reports of metal theft each month in 2009. Today, just two years later, there are now approximately 700 thefts per month and astonishingly 900 in March 2011 alone. It is estimated that metal theft cost the UK a staggering £777m in 2010. The ongoing turbulent economic climate and relentless rise in precious metal commodity prices (especially copper) has clearly contributed to the temptation to accumulate quick and easy cash by taking part in metal theft related crimes. Disturbingly, it is believed that organised crime networks are behind a significant proportion of these metal theft incidences.
Whilst the harm and cost of dealing with general environmental crime such as fly-tipping has been long acknowledged, the impact of metal theft incidents can be far more serious. Metal theft leaves a trail of victims ranging from utilities/communications providers and the rail network to local communities, including the harsh reality that perpetrators are frequently suffering serious physical injuries and in some extreme cases, fatalities.
Seeking to address the rise in metal theft, the Government has been coordinating its efforts with criminal justice forces, local authorities and other key agencies, recently creating the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Metal Theft Working Group. Although certain preventative steps have been taken, the Government recognises there is still much to be done if we are to effectively reverse the current trend in metal theft as well as tackle other environmental crimes such as fly-tipping and the proliferation of illegal waste sites and vehicle breaking sites.
This timely symposium provides an invaluable platform for local authorities, environment policymakers, central and local government and other stakeholders to assess the national response to confront metal theft and other environmental crimes. The symposium will assess the Government’s plans to strengthen legislation, establish closer partnership working between key local and national agencies and lead the debate on developing new solutions to tackle the rise in metal thefts and other environmental crimes.
Gain an update on potential legislative changes
Analyse the impact of metal theft on businesses and local communities
Assess existing national and local strategies in place to tackle metal thefts
Explore the framework for legislative change in laws covering environmental crime
Discuss how to strengthen multi-agency working at the local level
For further information or to reserve your place at this event, please visit the Public Policy Exchange website.