A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has backed new Government action against metal thefts following a spate of such incidents across the county.
In a statement to Parliament, Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government will create a new criminal offence to prohibit cash payments when purchasing scrap metal and introduce unlimited penalties on those who break the law.
In November, she announced that a dedicated metal theft taskforce would also be established.
These changes are part of a wider plan to tackle all stages in the illegal trading of stolen scrap metal and further measures to crack down on rogue dealers will soon be outlined.
Commenting on the announcement, Hexham MP Guy Opperman – whose constituency includes Ponteland, Belsay and Stannington – said: “People across Northumberland are disgusted by metal thieves and the criminals who deal in stolen metal.
“We need to protect business, the public and our national heritage from metal theft and that’s why I’m pleased to back the Government’s action. It’s right that it is stopping cash payments and introducing tough penalties.”