BEXLEYHEATH and Crayford MP David Evennett has welcomed a new law to reform the scrap metal industry.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Bill passed its final stage in the House of Lords this week and will create a locally administered licence regime as well as giving police and local authorities new powers to close down unlicensed traders.

There will be cashless trading for all scrap metal dealers and fines for serious breaches of an act which seeks to regulate a £5.6bn industry which is the principal outlet for stolen metal.

Mr Evennett said: "Metal theft is a real problem.

"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 Bexley will be pleased that this new law will reform the whole scrap metal industry and tighten the net around those trading stolen goods."

Erith and Thamesmead MP Teresa Pearce has also backed the bill to curb "sickening" metal thefts from public buildings and monuments.