Richard Ottaway MP hopes his Private Member's Bill will make it harder for thieves who target war memorials, train tracks and church roofs
Councils and police will get tougher powers to tackle illegal scrap dealers and crack down on metal thefts under a Bill going before Parliament.
Conservative MP Richard Ottaway hopes his Private Member's Bill will make it harder for thieves who target war memorials, train tracks and church roofs to sell their stolen metal.
He said: "Across the UK, public buildings, memorials, churches, transport and telecommunication infrastructure are being increasingly targeted by metal thieves who sell on the stolen material, often through scrap metal dealers.
"The financial costs, distress and misery caused to residents, commuters, insurers, and utility and energy companies are enormous."
Croydon South MP Mr Ottaway came second in an MPs' ballot to put his Bill before the Commons, meaning it is guaranteed a debate.
He added: "We need new legislation to disrupt and then shut down the trade in stolen metal, taking action against those stealing it and selling it on.
"It is time to look at the sentencing guidelines, to see if they need strengthening to ensure the full impact of metal theft crime is taken into account."