Plumbers in London are reporting a significant rise in metal thefts as the government considers a bill to help tackle the problem.
The legislation, which plans to introduce a compulsory licensing scheme for metal dealers has already suffered a record 11 defeats in the House of Lords already.
Measures to tackle the ever-growing issue have been included in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Commons.
Richard de Bruin has had numerous encounters with metal thieves whilst working as plumbers in London.
“I’ve been a victim of copper theft six times. I have had my van cleared out in three minutes,” he said.
“I used to live in a semi-detached house in Raynes Park and they and they jumped over the fence, into the communal alleyway and stole £400-£500 worth of copper.”
The estimated cost of metal theft to the national economy is currently an estimated £770 million a year and is becoming an increasingly high profile issues, which is clearly affecting plumbers London.
Aubrey Miranda, an engineer in Streatham, says he isn’t surprised the price of copper and other metals is on the rise. “People underestimate how valuable scrap metal is. A 30m sheet of copper can go for £125.”