Categorized | National News

Dorsett Condemns Illegal Scrap Metal Facilities

A Cabinet minister yesterday condemned the practice of scrap metal facilities being used for criminal activity.

Speaking out on the issue in the House of Assembly yesterday, Environment Minister Kenred Dorsett said while there has been tremendous growth in scrap metal collection in recent years, the government must ensure that those who operate such businesses are doing so legally.

“Scrap metal facilities must not and cannot be allowed to be used by those criminal elements in our society, who wish to find a way to get rid of stolen vehicles after the car as been stripped of all of its parts,” the minister said. “This is a serious issue.”

Minister Dorsett, who at the time was leading off debate on an amendment to the Derelict Motor Vehicles (Disposal) Act, however acknowledged that he sees both the negatives and positives of scrap metal collecting.

“There are young men who have made some bad choices in life,” he said. “Many of them have criminal records. Many of them can’t find a job in government or the private sector because they got locked up for a joint.

“Many of them are functionally illiterate. Many of them have been convicted of serious offenses and now that they have returned to society, they cannot get a job. Therefore, they scrap to make a living. Some of them are able to make $200 per week from scrapping. Some make more than that.

“Some have told me that while the work is dirty, gruelling and there are scrap wars on the streets of Nassau, they say that it is the only option they have to make a living for them and their families….It is literally keeping scores of young men out of prison and enabling them to make weekly earning to take care of families. That’s real.”

Minister Dorsett stressed that he is not in any way, shape or form condoning theft of cars, metals or illegal activity.

“Honest work for pay. So, I don’t want us to think for a minute that everyone involved in scrap metal is a crook or doing something illegal.”

The Ingraham administration had imposed a 90-day ban on scrap metal following widespread theft of cooper and various metals.

Jamaica later implemented similar prohibitions.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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