07 Jan 2015

SONY DSCJohn Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, has voiced his concerns regarding metal theft in response to recent events at Wellshot Primary School in Tollcross.

Several classrooms in the school became flooded on January 6th after lead on the roof of the building was taken by thieves. This meant that 286 children had to be sent home as the damage was evaluated and preliminary repair work began. The theft – which is now being investigated by the Police – is thought to have caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of water damage to both ceilings and stairways. Commenting on the theft, Mr Mason said;

“This incident in Tollcross has caused disruption for the children, parents and members of staff at Wellshot Primary School as over 280 pupils have had to be sent home in the wake of the flooding. The total cost to the public purse of repairing the damages and investigating the crime could be tens of thousands of pounds. Whilst I was pleased to hear that the pupils were able to return to school on the following day, I am dismayed by thoughtlessness of the theft itself.

“Any suggestion that metal theft has no victims is completely untrue. It is quite simply an appalling crime which can lead to anything from large scale disruption and public expense, such as in this instance, to public safety risks such when a thief’s interference with wiring causes a surge of electricity which can lead to fires breaking out.

“It is for reasons such as this that I am keen to see the implementation of the Scottish Government’s proposed licensing bill which will introduce stricter licensing laws for metal dealers. These new regulations would mean that all metal dealers would be required to both possess a license and maintain a detailed record of any purchases that they make including the names and addresses of their suppliers. This would make it far more difficult for thieves to sell their looted metal and could help to ensure that incidents such as the recent theft at Wellshot become a thing of the past.”