ST Helens MP Dave Watts has called on more to be done to tackle the growing menace of metal theft in the borough.
Mr Watts hit out saying the crime has reached “epidemic” proportions and was damaging the local economy.
He want new laws to stop the growing underground trade.
Current government plans will stop cash payments to purchase scrap metal and increase fines for those that are found guilty. However, Mr Watts believes they need to go further giving police the power of entry and the ability to shut down rogue scrap metal yards.
He said “I know the problems that metal theft is causing in the borough for both residents and businesses, churches and public buildings are being damaged.”