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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd November 2011
Min of Public Safety & Sol Gen
Tracking scrap metal sales across B.C. will help to deter copper thieves, protect 911 emergency service, prevent theft-related power outages and save utilities, municipalities and taxpayers millions of dollars a year, under proposed legislation to be introduced today.

Announced as Crime Prevention Week begins in B.C., Bill 13, the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act, fulfils a key commitment in the Oct. 3 throne speech. If passed, the act will make B.C. the first Canadian province with legislation targeting scrap-metal transactions.

Currently, fewer than a dozen Lower Mainland municipalities have bylaws that require scrap dealers to maintain records of copper and other high-value metals they purchase, and to share details daily with local police. Variations in bylaws and enforcement have failed to curb the problem, and municipalities and utilities have called for a consistent, provincial approach.

The new law is designed to help to deter and prosecute metal thieves, minimize regulatory costs for the recycling industry and protect the personal information of those who sell metal to scrap dealers. Under it:

* Those who deal in high-value metals like copper, which are targets for metal thieves, will be required to record details including the weight and type of metal purchased, any distinguishing marks on it, and where the seller says he or she got it.

* Dealers will share these details with local police on a daily basis and must keep their records for a minimum of one year.

* Dealers will also record each seller's personal information, including their full name, current address, telephone number and date of birth, as well as vehicle or pick-up address details.

* To protect sellers' privacy, dealers will assign a unique code to each customer from whom they buy metal. This code will accompany purchase information supplied to the police. Dealers will only release a seller's personal information to police who present a court order for that information.

* The law will prohibit dealers from buying regulated scrap metal from any seller unable or unwilling to provide required information.

The proposed legislation avoids the financial and administrative burden of licensing, but will create a dealer registry and a system of compliance and enforcement by appointed inspectors. More specific details - including the types of metal to be regulated, and the penalties for failing to comply with the law - will follow when the Province develops complementary regulations.


Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Shirley Bond -

"This law is critical to protecting infrastructure across B.C. - those critical communications links between our homes and 911 emergency services, and between first responders themselves. Our approach will ensure metal thieves don't profit from their crimes, while minimizing the cost and administrative burden for the law-abiding workers in our scrap and recycling sector."

Kenneth Haertling, TELUS vice-president and chief security officer -

"We welcome this tough approach to regulating scrap metal sales throughout B.C., which will help protect our customers' access to critical communications infrastructure. Thieves have cut live TELUS cables 325 times this year - and when they do so, they are cutting our customers' access to 911, putting their very lives at risk. It needs to stop, and this legislation will help."

Mike Chadwick, Chief Constable, Saanich Police Department -

"Law enforcement is supportive of this initiative because of the obvious benefits to public safety. Each year, metal thefts put first responders and the public at serious risk as a result of destruction of critical infrastructure such as telephone lines and hydro installations."

Quick Facts:

* Metal theft frequently causes widespread phone service disruption. Last December, more than 500 Maple Ridge residents lost 911 emergency service after thieves stole copper telephone wire.

* TELUS has estimated each of the 200 metal theft incidents it dealt with in the Lower Mainland last year cost $50,000 on average to repair.

* About 10 Lower Mainland municipalities currently have metal theft bylaws.
we are so dumb.
Comment by T.R. on 5th November 2011
in our country we create laws to try to solve problems. I see this every where i look. Let's use WCB as an example. When someone gets hurt because they tripped over an obsticle on the shop floor, we get all caught up in the "SAFETY CRAZE" and we sit down and "OVER ANALIZE" the situation. then some pencil pushing desk monkey who feels they need to justify their paycheck comes up with some rediculous procedure that has to do with some new piece of PPE that was invented specifically to prevent the accident that took place. A spotter would be needed to put that piece of PPE on and you would have to fill some crap out in a log book or something. what i'm getting at is, that the whole issue boils down to something simple. Like "GOOD HOUSE KEEPING" clean up after yourself or take the extra time to eliminate the hazard.

if anyone would have done their reasearch they would have found out that for the past couple of years copper and the money surrounding it is sky- rocketing. Other countries have the same problem that we have and do you want to know what the solution was?????? "copper coated steel wire" still an excellent conductor but not worth stealing as steel prices are only a fraction of the price of copper.... and guess where they found the real savings???? in the production of the wire. countries are saving billions. while we are still stuck in a cave making laws and pure copper wire for our theives to have.
Too much theft going on
Comment by Working guy on 3rd November 2011
I work my butt off at an honest job to feed my family!! Not stealing to feed mine
Comment by Bill Everyman on 3rd November 2011
I steel metal to feed my children.
Crack/meth dealers will get their $$$ somehow....
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 2nd November 2011
Well?! Somebody had to say it.
I have a real issue with those who poison society......but, that's between them and God.
Law needs wider application
Comment by c. sandecki on 2nd November 2011
Unless all of Canada adopts this law, thieves will simply drive a little farther to find a willing scrap metal buyer.