Minister Shatter welcomes new Garda strategy on metal theft

An Garda Síochána has today published a Garda Metal Theft Crime Prevention and Reduction Plan, drawn up in conjunction with a range of stakeholders on a Metal Theft Forum, and designed to provide for an effective and multi-agency response to this type of crime.

The phenomenon of metal theft has become an international problem due to the high prices paid for many types of metal.   In Ireland, as in many other countries, transport, power supply and other public utilities have been targeted by criminals, as have agricultural and commercial premises. In addition metal objects and material have been removed from many properties, including historic buildings, causing enormous damage.

The Plan was praised by the Minister as “…giving a very positive example of how business, community and public bodies can participate effectively with the Gardaí to tackle crime and protect property and jobs.”  Minister Shatter said that the plan was  “…an important first step in providing a strategic framework to tackle the rise of metal theft…”.

The Minister noted that the new Garda strategy will enhance the effectiveness of other measures to counteract metal theft, and he referred to the draft regulations under the Waste Management Act which have been published by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government which aim to enhance the traceability of scrap metal purchases.

Minister Shatter noted that “…the Gardaí continue to display considerable flexibility and adaptability in responding to emerging crime trends and in the intelligent deployment of resources” and in conclusion he affirmed his commitment to work with the Garda authorities and the Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government, together with the support of stakeholders  “….to counteract the activities of criminals who have caused considerable destruction to property and threaten the viability of businesses and jobs.”