In light of a number of incidents in the Borders both recently and in the past few years, Christine Grahame MSP has welcomed new proposals to tackle metal thefts.
If approved the proposal could see the introduction of a tougher licensing regime and banning of cash payments for metal.
Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill has unveiled a consultation which will specifically focus on what conditions dealers should be subject to under the new regime.
And Ms Grahame, who chairs the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, said the announcement was particularly timely after police reported there had been two thefts within Melrose and Galashiels.
She commented: “Sadly, thefts like the one in Melrose and in the centre of town in Galashiels show that nowhere is immune to such thefts.
“I know that the police are doing all they can to bring those responsible to justice but more can be done and the Scottish Government is taking tough steps through legislation.
“This crime is plaguing communities in the Borders and across Scotland and it must be stopped. Metal theft causes severe damage to buildings but it also carries a financial penalty for those businesses and organisations that have been affected by it.”