PENDLE MP Andrew Stephenson has welcomed a new law which will tackle the problem of scrap metal thefts.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill was taken through Parliament by a Conservative MP with support from the Government and this week passed its final stage in the House of Lords.

It will reform the rules governing the scrap metal industry, creating a tougher, locally administered, licence regime.

The bill contains strong powers to stop the trade in stolen metal and for the first time it gives the police and local authorities the power to close down unlicensed dealers. Mr Stephenson said: “Metal theft is a scourge. Stolen power cables mean power cuts and delays on the railway, while stolen lead from church roofs and memorial plaques can cause misery.

“Local people in Pendle will be pleased that this new law, which the Conservatives have taken through Parliament, will reform the whole scrap metal industry and tighten the net around the dodgy dealers.”