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Scrap metal law is already cutting thefts, says MP

November 4, 2013 1:28 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act is already cutting crime.

Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister Norman Baker said in the House of Commons: "The Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which I mentioned, is designed precisely to ensure that rogue traders are dealt with properly, and a properly funded licensing scheme will see more effective compliance activity by local authorities and stronger enforcement by the police, ensuring a level playing field for law-abiding scrap metal dealers. For example, we see from the British Transport police that offences are down 44% in the last year."

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which clamps down on rogue traders, will also give local authorities and police new powers to inspect premises where they suspect illegal activity. Magistrates will be able to issue fines of up to £5,000 to scrap metal dealers who trade in cash. As well as having the power to issue licences, councils will be able to refuse or revoke licences if a dealer is deemed unsuitable.

The new scrap metal laws will also mean:

• all scrap metal dealers must verify the name and address of the seller at the point of sale, which is recorded and retained by the dealer

• the cashless offence will apply to all scrap metal dealers including 'mobile collectors' who collect door to door

• there will be a single national publicly available register of all scrap metal dealers.

Tim said: "It is great to hear that this act is already making a difference and is cutting crime. In rural areas like ours metal theft is a major crime. It hits at the heart of our daily lives - grinding trains to a halt, stripping roofs off churches and schools at huge public expense and cutting off power supplies to hospitals and other vital lifelines. I hope that this bill will continue to make a difference in the months and years ahead."