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Coalition backs more measures to tackle metal theft

Europe – Eleven associations representing the recycling industry as well as the railway, public transport and energy sectors are calling on EU policy-makers to take further action to counter metal theft in Europe.

This coalition – which includes the European Ferrous Recovery and Recycling Federation (EFR) and the European Metal Trade and Recycling Federation (EUROMETREC) – has been formed with the aim of raising awareness about the negative effects of metal theft on services and public life. The impact of such theft ‘goes far beyond the actual value of the stolen material’, it points out in a statement.

The coalition goes on to stress that proper implementation and enforcement of existing waste legislation across Europe is ‘crucial’ in prohibiting uncontrolled management of metal waste and scrap. New measures linked to the identification of metal waste and scrap buyers/sellers should be considered, it adds, in order to allow for more efficient and effective investigations and prosecution of such crimes, including a record of the purchased material as well as details of the seller and of the vehicle used to transport scrap and waste.

‘The cross-border nature of metal theft and its ties to organised crime necessitate enhanced international co-ordination and co-operation between law enforcement authorities and better exchange of data,’ the statement continues. ‘Common definitions and sanctions need to be introduced in order to make foreseen penalties for metal theft proportional to the actual impact and cost of the crime.’

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