Burglary victim and West Lindsey MP Edward Leigh supports get tough Scrap Metal Bill
The West Lindsey district MP whose home flooded when burglars stole a copper water tank is supporting tougher rules on scrap metal crime.
Gainsborough constituency MP Edward Leigh, whose area includes West Lindsey villages like Scotter, Hemswell, Waddingham and Bigby, wants an end to thefts which have desecrated war memorials, ruined medieval churches and delayed millions of train passengers.
But Mr Leigh is supporting the Scrap Metal Dealers' Bill currently before Parliament and has been the victim of scrap metal crime himself.
His West Lindsey home has been targeted by burglars more than once. And the most recent incident saw the father-of-five return from London to find the property flooded.
The break-in caused damage worth thousands of pounds which has only just been repaired.
The Scrap Metal Dealers' Bill seeks to give local authorities powers to licence scrap metal dealers and carry out inspections. Local authorities would be able to refuse or revoke a licence from an unsuitable dealer.
Mr Leigh addressed Jeremy Browne, the Government minister responsible, in the House of Commons.
"As a victim of scrap metal crime myself, like many others, I am strongly in favour of this Bill," the MP said.
"I urge the Minister to ensure that this bill becomes law because out there, the churches and many members of the public want this."
Afterwards, Mr Leigh said: "Around Remembrance Sunday more than ever, it is important that we put a stop to these despicable criminals once and for all.
"Stealing from and smashing a war memorial, erected to honour those who gave their lives for us, is disgraceful.
"As someone who has had my whole house flooded by mindless scrap metal thieves, I hope that we can end this crime in all its forms.
"However, it is important to recognise that desecrating war memorials and churches is a crime on a different level and I support a very stiff penalty to reflect that."