Given the recent videos going viral on social media of alleged copper bandits caught in the act of cutting and stealing copper wires, the T&T Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association is calling for a more collaborative effort to bring this unlawful act to an end.
In a media release yesterday, the association’s president, Allan Ferguson, noted that despite repeated calls on individuals to refrain from stealing copper wires, manhole covers and other metals, “this unlawful act still unconvinced.”
“The Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association is aware of the numerous instances where livelihoods are being disrupted as a result of these types of theft,” Ferguson said.
On Saturday, it was reported that two homes were destroyed in a fire which is believed to have been caused by an electrical issue that was caused by copper theft.
Also, lives were lost in the past as a result of people attempting to steal these wires for sale.
“TTSIDA views this situation as very unfortunate and it must be addressed,” Ferguson said.
He noted that the scrap iron industry had seen an increase in people coming into the industry in the midst of the pandemic after many suffered job losses and were forced to find different means of survival.
He pointed out that even with restrictions being lifted and the re-opening of the country, many people continue to depend on the industry to survive on a daily basis.
“While we empathise with their situation, we strongly condemn any act of theft,” he said.
“TTSIDA is of the firm view that there are people in our country who are seeking to tarnish the industry and contribute to its demise,” Ferguson added.
“As the recognised association, we cannot and will not allow this to happen. However, we cannot do it alone. There needs to be a collaborative approach to addressing this dire situation.” he added.
The association is once again calling on the Government to hasten the implementation of the much-needed legislation to regularise the industry and urges members of the public to report instances of theft to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
“We call on law enforcement officers to arrest the culprits and bring them to justice,” Ferguson said.
“TTSIDA is once again calling on Scrap Iron Dealers to abstain from buying stolen items from members of the public. And to the individuals who see it fit to continue to commit these selfish, unlawful acts, we call on you to desist. You cannot continue to disrupt the livelihoods of the citizens of this country.”