The Scotsman ran an article (8 November) in relation to the issue of metal theft and specifically regarding a summit which took place at the Scottish Parliament. I would like to highlight a couple of issues with the article.
Firstly, the summit was organised by the Energy Networks Association, my office and myself.
We worked collaboratively to bring the relevant bodies and organisations such as ScottishPower, SSE, Police Scotland, Calor Gas, British Transport Police, War Memorial Trust and many others, to meet at the Scottish Parliament to discuss the issue of metal and cable theft.
Alongside this, I had invited the justice secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP, to attend, which he duly did. He gave up a considerable part of his afternoon to listen to examples of metal and cable theft which have occurred throughout Scotland.
Secondly, the event was not chaired by the Energy Networks Association but by myself.
Thirdly, it was somewhat disappointing that only MSPs from the SNP attended the summit, although some MSPs from other parties sent a representative. To then quote someone who didn’t even attend the summit was somewhat unfortunate. Metal and cable theft is not an invisible crime. It affects people, communities, both small and large businesses and it can result in death. Both the First Minister and Cabinet secretary have indicated that legislation will be taken forward to tighten regulation of scrap metal dealers. This will be warmly welcomed by many people and organisations across Scotland.
Stuart McMillan MSP