Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Michael Moynihan, has called on the government to introduce legislation to address the growing instances of metal theft.
Deputy Moynihan commented: “Metal theft is a significant problem for many communities in Ireland, but in particular the rural community. Scrap metal regulation is non-existent in this country and it has become a worrying trend that criminals can steal metal from historic buildings and railways then get easy cash at scrap metal dealers.”
Fianna Fáil supported a bill on scrap metal that came before the Dáil this month, which was voted down by the government.
“The bill would have created a legal framework to ensure that dealers in scrap metals have obligations to aid the Gardaí curb metal robberies. It would have also led to stricter controls relating to the purchasing, selling and trading of precious or scrap metal.
“More importantly, it obliges precious metal dealers to obtain proof of identity from people providing goods to them. This would create a paper trail and help lead to convictions for theft. Incredibly, the government shot this down and they seem happy to proceed with the non-existent legislation.
“All precious metal dealers should also be required to register with the Gardaí, so there is some regulation in the industry. There is no transparency and no deterrent for criminals. Penalties must be increased and scrap metal dealers should be banned from using cash transactions to increase traceability.
“On top of this we have no legislation for the regulation of ‘Cash for Gold’ shops. Valuable jewellery that has been stolen can be traded in without any checks, it gives criminals an incentive to steal jewellery at will. Something needs to be done swiftly to arrest this worrying situation and it is incumbent on the government to act accordingly,” concluded Deputy Moynihan.