IFA Environment + Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has called for the introduction of a ‘<i>track and trace’</i> compliance scheme, which would compel all scrap metal dealers to record the source of the scrap metal received. The scheme would also have mandatory checks by local authorities and An Garda Síochána, which would include regularly inspections of records and premises.
Speaking following the recent publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, Harold Kingston said, “These figures confirm the increased incidence of robberies and thefts reported by IFA members, often accompanied by threats and intimidation. We are getting reports of valuable machinery disappearing from farmyards and fields all over the country as part of work carried out by a sophisticated network of criminals.”
“It is becoming increasingly evident that those behind the thefts have access to significant resources that enables them to steal large machines, and store them for some time before disposing of them. What is of most concern is the fact that over 60% of thefts and related offences remain undetected.”
He said, “This situation cannot be allowed to continue and IFA, as part of the Association’s submission to the National Waste Policy review, is calling for the immediate introduction of a ‘<i>track and trace’ compliance scheme, to monitor the movement of scrap metal and identify individuals that trade illegally in such materials.”
Harold Kingston said, “If we cannot stop the theft of machinery at source, then we need an effective deterrent at the point of sale. It is not good enough for dealers to accept goods at face value without checking their ownership. A robust compliance system would close off the outlet for those responsible for the thefts, as dealers would face the consequences of receiving stolen goods.”