East Lancashire MP takes lead theft issue to Parliament
7:30pm Tuesday 20th March 2012 in News
AN EAST Lancashire MP has brought up the issue of metal thefts in Parliament after lead was stolen from a Lower Darwen primary school.
Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, highlighted the problem during Home Office Questions and was told that an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, prohibiting cash payments for metal, would be debated.
The law is expected to come into force later this year and Mr Berry said he hoped that the new rule would make it harder for thieves to go undetected.
He said: “I am pleased that the minister confirmed that they are going to stop cash payment transactions which I hope will help us combat metal theft.
“My own personal view is that we are particularly prone to this here because of our industrial heritage.
“The Government is proceeding with this anti-metal theft bill which is hopefully going to stop this happening in the future.”
The question was prompted after lead was stolen from the roof of Lower Darwen Primary School last week.
Steven Cumbo, headteacher at Lower Darwen Primary School, said he would welcome some kind of check on metal sales.
He said: “The most galling thing is that it has cost us money. They have taken money off the children because that money could have been spent on them rather than on repairs to the roof.
“It is an undetected crime at the end of the day because we have a crime reference number but is anything going to be done about it?”
Denise Gee, councillor for Fernhurst ward, said: “I was devastated that the lead had gone from the front of the school.
“It is something that has not been resolved and it keeps happening.
“Anything that protects businesses and propertied from this sort of theft has got to be positive.
“I welcome any sort of help we can get to make it more difficult to steal and gain cash.”