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New Law comes in to Force Today in Fight Against Metal Theft

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 (which came into effect on 1 October 2013) gives local authorities and police new powers to inspect premises where they suspect illegal activity.  All scrap metal dealers will need to apply to their local council for a licence to operate.  Anyone buying or selling scrap metal for cash may face a fine of £5,000.

Crime Prevention Minister Jeremy Browne said:

“Metal theft costs the UK economy around £220 million a year and it has a huge impact on our communities – from disrupted rail services to desecrated war memorials and damaged church roofs.

Our changes, including increasing financial penalties and banning cash payments, have already helped slash metal theft across the UK.

This new legislation will help tighten the net around rogue dealers who flout the rules and wilfully purchase stolen metal, while reforming the system to support legitimate businesses.”

The new scrap metal laws will also mean:

Thefts of metal including of the rail network, power cables or telecommunications have caused serious disruption to communities where services have been cut. In many circumstance thieves have put themselves and others at risk to remove the cable. (, 1 October 2013)

Further information on the legislation is available here or view a related BBC article.

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