SNP MSP Christine Grahame has voiced concerns over reports that the increasing rate of metal thefts could have a negative impact on the Borders rail link.
News today reveals metal theft has become one of the top priorities of the British Transport Police – second only to the threat of terrorism.
Scrap dealers in the Borders have been warned about the problem as BTP say rising value of metals such a brass, copper and lead are behind the crisis.
Ms Grahame, who has campaigned for a Borders line for over a decade, said:
“The Borders rail is a hugely significant project that will bring benefits to travellers and a long-term boost for our economy.
“Across the borders we have all campaigned for such a long time for this line that we must all now be vigilant and report anything suspicious to ensure criminals cannot hamper its development.
“The fact that officers have already warned dealers that criminals could target the new line between Edinburgh and Tweedbank shows how serious a problem it is.
“The SNP Government is committed to tackling this serious issue – which is why I welcome Kenny MacAskill’s plans to toughen the licensing regime to bring more metal dealers into the scope of licensing rules.
“We cannot allow selfish metal thieves to get away with making other people’s lives a misery or putting our economic success at risk which is why new legislation is an extremely welcoming development to clamp down on those flouting the law.”