“What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once a policy is determined, you call on them to help you sell it.”
— Margaret Dole
Banner image (photo of Holyrood Parliament Banner image (photo of a delegate in a suit listening intently at a conference)

“The government fully recognises the serious consequences of metal theft. This is not a victimless crime … we can assume that the incidence of metal theft will continue to rise unless action is taken, which is what we are determined to do.”
— Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, September 2011

“I have been astonished by the costs incurred and damage that metal theft is causing to businesses, services and local communities across England and Wales. The government takes this issue extremely seriously which is why we commissioned the multi-agency ACPO Metal Theft working group to deliver a plan to tackle the problem … Good progress is being made on a range of actions from this plan including looking at how we can develop metal alternatives and more coordinated law enforcement approaches, as well as exploring possible options for a cashless system for scrap metal dealers. Nevertheless, we are keen to do more and discussions are underway with a number of government departments to identify further options.”
— Minister for Crime Prevention and Anti-social Behaviour Reduction, June 2011


Should 16-year-olds get the vote?
Should 16-year-olds get the vote? More
VIDEO: Team Scotland 'saved our country'
Ed Miliband says the Team Scotland of Labour politicians "helped save our country" in the Scottish independence vote. More
Robinson rejigs DUP Stormont team
The DUP's Edwin Poots and Nelson McCausland are being replaced as Stormont ministers, party leader Peter Robinson announces. More

Event Details

Title: Detection and Prevention: Working in Partnership to Tackle Metal Theft and Other Environmental Crime
Date: Wednesday 25th April 2012
Time: 10.15am – 4:30pm
Venue: Broadway House, Westminster
Register your place

Key Speakers

Tony Glover, Head of Public Affairs, Energy Network Association
Graham Jones MP, Sponsor Private Members' Bill to Tackle Metal Theft
Lord Henley, Minister of State for Crime Prevention and Anti-Social Behaviour Reduction, Home Office
David Ransom, Project Director, Pol-PRIMETT


According to the Energy Networks Association, there were an estimated 100 reports of metal theft each month in 2009. Today, just two years later, there are now approximately 700 thefts per month and astonishingly 900 in March 2011 alone. It is estimated that metal theft cost the UK a staggering £777m in 2010. The ongoing turbulent economic climate and relentless rise in precious metal commodity prices (especially copper) has clearly contributed to the temptation to accumulate quick and easy cash by taking part in metal theft related crimes. Disturbingly, it is believed that organised crime networks are behind a significant proportion of these metal theft incidences.

Whilst the harm and cost of dealing with general environmental crime such as fly-tipping has been long acknowledged, the impact of metal theft incidents can be far more serious. Metal theft leaves a trail of victims ranging from utilities/communications providers and the rail network to local communities, including the harsh reality that perpetrators are frequently suffering serious physical injuries and in some extreme cases, fatalities.

Seeking to address the rise in metal theft, the Government has been coordinating its efforts with criminal justice forces, local authorities and other key agencies, recently creating the Association of Chief Police Officers’ Metal Theft Working Group. Although certain preventative steps have been taken, the Government recognises there is still much to be done if we are to effectively reverse the current trend in metal theft as well as tackle other environmental crimes such as fly-tipping and the proliferation of illegal waste sites and vehicle breaking sites.

This timely symposium provides an invaluable platform for local authorities, environment policymakers, central and local government and other stakeholders to assess the national response to confront metal theft and other environmental crimes. The symposium will assess the Government’s plans to strengthen legislation, establish closer partnership working between key local and national agencies and lead the debate on developing new solutions to tackle the rise in metal thefts and other environmental crimes.

Delegates will:

  • Gain an update on potential legislative changes
  • Analyse the impact of metal theft on businesses and local communities
  • Assess existing national and local strategies in place to tackle metal thefts
  • Explore the framework for legislative change in laws covering environmental crime
  • Discuss how to strengthen multi-agency working at the local level


09:30 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:15 Chair’s Welcome and Introduction
10:30 Panel Session One:
The Rising Tide of Metal Theft – Constructing the National Response
  • Metal Theft, Cable Theft and Other Environmental Crime – Understanding the National Picture
  • Legislative Update – Overhauling the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964
  • Assessing Existing Policy Initiatives and Exploring the Steps Needed to Update the National Framework
  • Strengthening Partnership Working between Police, Local Authorities and Industry
  • Tackling the Causes of Environmental Crime and Strengthening Criminal Justice Interventions to Thwart Metal Theft
11:15 Morning Coffee Break
11:30 Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel One
12:30 Networking Lunch
13:30 Panel Session Two:
Sharing Best Practice and Exploring Local Solutions in Tackling Metal Theft, Fly-tipping and Other Environmental Crime
  • Design Against Crime – Examining New, Innovative Solutions and Technological Developments
  • Identifying Practical and Effective Preventative Measures to Protect Communities
  • Educating the Public – Raising Awareness and Co-ordinating More Effective Communications within Local Communities
  • Building Community Confidence in the Police and other Enforcement Agencies
14:15 Afternoon Coffee Break
14:30 Open Floor Discussion and Debate with Panel Two
15:30 Chair’s Summary and Closing Comments
15:40 Networking Reception
16:30 Close

Who Should Attend?

  • Local Authorities
  • British Transport Police
  • Architectural Liaison Officers
  • Property Crimes Units
  • Car Crime Units
  • Criminal Justice Practitioners
  • Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
  • Police Service, Police Authorities and Fire Services
  • Regulatory Bodies
  • Home Office and other Central Government Departments and Agencies
  • Utilities Services and Communications Providers
  • Rail Network and Train Operating Companies
  • Public Service Transport Operators
  • Transport Professionals
  • Recycling Organisations
  • Scrap Metal Merchants’ Associations
  • Pawnshop Operators
  • Licensing Authorities
  • Asset Protection Investigators
  • Loss Prevention Coordinators
  • Accident and Emergency Departments
  • Local Authority Policymakers in Environmental Services
  • Environmental Health/ Enforcement Officers
  • Energy Efficiency Officers
  • Planning Officers
  • Chief Executives
  • Directors and Elected Members
  • Emergency Planning Officers
  • Councillors with Responsibility for Transport and Environment
  • Directors of Economy and Environment
  • Environment Engineers and Architects
  • Technology Providers
  • Local Church Commissioners
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Academics
  • Analysts and Researchers

How to Book

Phone: 0845 606 1535
Fax:     0845 606 1539
Email: bookings@publicpolicyexchange.co.uk