IFA Call For Scrap Metal Compliance Scheme To Control Metal Theft

IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Pat Farrell has called for the immediate introduction of a metal compliance scheme, similar to those operated by REPAK, IFFPG and WEE Ireland, to address the escalating problem of metal theft in rural Ireland.

Mr. Farrell said, “In recent months’ householders in Limerick were left without a phone service after thieves removed over 150m of copper phone cable, while Eircom manhole covers are being stolen throughout the country. Car batteries, farm machinery and scrap metal are being taken out of farmyards. In Cork, thieves are stealing road-signs while in the midlands an increase in the theft of copper pipes, cylinders and radiators from homes and sports club facilities are being reported.”

Pat Farrell said, “Metal theft in rural Ireland is growing at an alarming rate. The current review of the national waste strategy by Environment Minister Phil Hogan provides a real opportunity to track scrap metal and identify the thieves who recklessly enter private property and steal machinery and other materials from farmers. Minister Hogan should also introduce severe penalties for any thief caught stealing materials on private property.”

The IFA Environment Chairman called for immediate action to address metal theft. “There is a greater need for visibility of An Garda Síochána in rural Ireland, to deter thieves. In addition farmers should consider installing tracking technology on their farm machinery. However, the real action required is a joint strategy from the Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Environment Minister Phil Hogan, which recognises the problem and establishes measures, such as a scrap metal compliance scheme, that will prevent this type of crime in rural Ireland.”

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