Tougher regulations on the scrap metal trade are wanted by the Local Government Association to combat the theft of metal from buildings and monuments in Britain.
The LGA recommends that scrapyards should have to renew their licences every year and says there should be a ban on cash payments so the sellers can be traced.
It also says CCTV with automatic number plate recognition should be installed in scrapyards and dealers should be required to keep a log of sellers' details.
The BBC reports that metal theft is estimated to cost the economy £770 million per year.
The War Memorials Trust estimates one monument is vandalised per week for its bronze, copper or other metal.
''Thieves can make a quick buck from unscrupulous dealers," said LGA communities board chairman Mehboob Khan.
''We need to give councils power to ensure the industry is properly run."