Scrap metal trade needs regulation to avoid sale of stolen goods in Winnipeg: Rollins

Scrap metal. Global News / File

As Winnipeg retailers raise concerns about theft – with shoplifting reaching alarming levels in some industries – the city is looking into a different type of stolen goods that are tied into the ongoing meth crisis.

Coun. Sherri Rollins (Fort Rouge – East Fort Garry) told 680 CJOB that the city is taking stock of a rash of stolen metal being sold for scrap – a trade that, currently, has no legal regulations.

“There’s no rules in place,” said Rollins. “We don’t have a request even for photo ID.

READ MORE: Man steals $56,000 worth of parts from school buses, say Winnipeg police

Coun. Sherri Rollins. City of Winnipeg

Rollins said while there are individual companies checking IDs and keeping records of scrap metal sellers, there’s no official requirement to do so, and having a by-law in place would, at the very least, create a deterrent for people trying to sell stolen goods.

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“It’s a reality that there is a metal trade going on that is concerning to Winnipeggers, and looking it at it is what Winnipeggers should expect,” she said, “making sure the city is doing everything to deter cash for metal.”

Rollins said she the city isn’t looking to restrict existing metal dealers’ business – especially as many are already diligent about who they buy from – but just to create a framework where people who are selling stolen metal can potentially be tracked.

“We’re able to license scrap metal dealers as well,” she said.

“The charter gives us that ability. There are many things to look at when we make a by-law and where to put that license is one of them.”

She said the city’s administration will likely be contacting local metal dealers and report back to council to discuss next steps.

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