Bid to clean up scrap metal industry
13 July 2012 Last updated at 07:58 BST
Metal theft can have a devastating impact on communities causing major disruption to train services, operations in hospital cancelled or war memorials desecrated.
The government is to discuss tougher laws in an attempt to stamp it out in England and Wales.
A total of 300 tonnes of metal are stolen every week in the UK and in some areas it accounts for 1 in ten of all crimes.
Tim Muffett reports.
Report features Nicola Guest, from Alchemy Metals