Speaking after the launch of the Garda Síochána Metal Theft Crime Prevention and Reduction Plan this week, IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairperson, Harold Kingston, said a ‘track and trace’ compliance scheme which compels all dealers to record the source of the scrap metal received is the most effective way to curb metal theft.
“The scheme, which is in draft legislation form, must have mandatory checks by local authorities and An Garda, which would include regularly inspections of records and premises,” he told the Leitrim Observer.
“Valuable machinery is disappearing from farmyards and fields all over the country as part of work carried out by a sophisticated network of criminals. It is becoming increasingly evident that those behind the thefts have access to significant resources that enables them to steal large machines, and store them for some time before disposing of them. What is of most concern is the fact that over 60% of thefts and related offences remain undetected.”
He said if we don’t stop the theft of machinery at source then effective deterrants need to be put in place at the point of sale.
“It is not good enough for dealers to accept goods at face value without checking their ownership. A robust compliance system would close off the outlet for those responsible for the thefts, as dealers would face the consequences of receiving stolen goods,” added Mr Kingston.