DUDLEY South MP Chris Kelly has welcomed statistics which show a clampdown on cash payments for scrap metal is cutting crime.

In 2012/13 metal theft fell by 40 per cent after new rules came into force banning scrap dealers from paying cash to end no questions asked transactions.

Chris Kelly MP said: “Metal theft has a huge impact and costs the economy around £220 million a year. This crime affects everyone — from the stealing of cables that delay your rail journey home to the shocking theft of war memorials.”

However Mr Kelly has uncovered evidence dealers are now offering to pay by cheque – and then cash the cheque allowing people to leave with cash.

He has written the Home Office to highlight the issue and is urging anyone who sees adverts offering cash for scrap to contact him.

Mr Kelly said: “The intention of the government and the will of parliament, in banning cash for scrap and reforming the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, is absolutely clear. The minister is aware that there are some firms seeking ways around the law.”