Metal theft bill goes for Royal As­sent

The Church of England - - NEWS -

On 2 April, six intr epid ex­plor­ers will take par t in a marathon coast-to-coast ex­pe­di­tion across Eng­land and back again to raise funds for new pr ojects tak­ing care of some of In­dia’s most vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren.

Steve Has­kett and his 13-year-old son Owen will leave the Nor th Sea coast at Tynemouth, just out­side New­cas­tle, to make the 90-mile jour ney on foot to the Ir­ish Sea coast at Bow­ness-on-Sol­way, along Hadrian’s Wall path. They will be un­sup­ported, carr ying all sup­plies in­clud­ing tent and sleep­ing bags, tak­ing seven days.

Then Steve will cy­cle 30 miles south to W ork­ing­ton where he will be joined by friends Peter and Linda Tomkin­son and Peter and El­lie Mar tin, who will join him for the 140-mile jour ney by bike back to T ynemouth, ar­riv­ing back at Tynemouth on Fri­day 12 April.

This ven­ture will raise money for the work of Life As­so­ci­a­tion, the char­ity r un by Mes­sage Tr ust co-founder Simon Hawthorne. THERE IS LIGHT at the end of the tun­nel in the Church of Eng­land’s long cam­paign to de­feat metal thieves who have tar­geted not only churches and his­toric build­ings but rail­ways and even stat­ues in pub­lic parks.

The Scrap Metal Deal­ers Bill has cleared its last leg­isla­tive hur­dle in the House of Lords and gone for­ward to re­ceive the Royal As­sent.

In March 2011, a report to the Home Of­fice from the Church Build­ings Coun­cil called for a new reg­u­la­tion of scrap yards to take away the in­cen­tive for metal theft. Un­der the new reg­u­la­tions, there will be a li­cens­ing sys­tem, a na­tional reg­is­ter of scrap yards and com­pul­sory tak­ing of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion at the point of sale.

The Po­lice will have pow­ers of en­try to en­force the new reg­u­la­tions and to close yards where il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity is sus­pected.

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