December 2 saw another instalment in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. All persons or businesses involved in the purchase or collection of scrap metal will have to keep robust records to ensure material traceability.

It is also mandatory for any person delivering scrap metal to identify themselves. This could range from a person delivering their own material on behalf of their employer or a driver employed by a haulage contractor.

West Midlands Police regional co-ordinator of the metal theft task force Insp Jamie Checkland said: “These laws should see the rogue
collectors eradicated from our streets. No one can simply hand over their items for scrap without also giving the collector their details.

“The laws mean we should be able to trace the origin of everything that is taken as scrap meaning that thefts and illicit dealing should be a thing of the past.”

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 has already seen last December’s cash ban extended to all collectors and industries such as Motor
Vehicle dismantlers.

British Metals Recycling Association director general Ian Hetherington said: “It is imperative that the new Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act is enforced with vigour.

“It will be a challenge for local authorities and police due to pressures on resources and a decline in the focus on metal theft. However, the BMRA will work closely with both the police and councils to ensure that it is implemented properly.”

He also said that there is a variation in fee charges for licences that councils are implementing, ranging from £70 to £1,200. Hetherington told edie that he was concerned that those levying a lower fee may not be “adequately resourced to police this”. 

Liz Gyekye

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