James Brokenshire has condemned the theft of metal from the roof of Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, resulting in the temporary closure of two operating theatres. Thieves stole cabling from the site in the early hours of last Thursday morning.
James will be discussing the incident with Bexley Borough Police Commander Victor Olisa at a meeting tomorrow (Friday). This latest incident follows the theft of a commemorative plaque from the Sidcup War Memorial last year.
Commenting James Brokenshire said:
“This is a truly shocking incident. The wanton disregard of the needs of patients requiring surgery and the disruption to the hospital beggars belief. The thieves involved in this callous crime deserve nothing but contempt.
"It underlines why the Government is right to strengthen police powers to combat metal theft and toughen up the response to those involved in the trade of stolen metal.”
The Government is pressing ahead with implementing new laws: to prohibit cash payments for scrap metal; to improve police powers of entry into unregistered scrap metal sites; and to increase the financial penalties for offences under the current Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964.
Further proposals to bring the regulation of the scrap metal industry up to date are also being examined. A Private Members Bill to create a more robust, local authority administered regime to regulate the scrap metal industry and clamp down on unscrupulous dealers is expected to be debated by Parliament next week.