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Police warn scrap metal dealers about new act
8:00am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
HAMPSHIRE police are advising scrap metal dealers to make themselves aware of a new Scrap Metal Act or face hefty fines.
The measure is designed to help cure the plague of metal thefts that have attacked churches, railway lines and building sites – most notably St Mary’s Church in Andover, where lead theft resulted in a devastating leak.
Until 1 October, the Scrap Metal Act of 1964 had not been amended in nearly 50 years. However, a brand new Act is now in place, with enforcement action set to commence from December.
As a result of the new Act, scrap metal dealers will be required to register with the local authority in the area that they trade.
Mobile dealers will also be required to register in each local authority area that they operate and display their registration in the vehicle being used for business from 1 December.
It is a condition of waste carrier licences to complete records for scrap metal being transported for “hire or reward”.
If no records are produced to account for the origin of the metal, officers may have grounds to perform a legal search of the vehicle and its contents. As part of the new Act, it is also illegal to buy and sell scrap metal for cash.
Operation Tornado is an ongoing national initiative that aims to make it easier to trace sellers of stolen metal and disrupt the activities of those dealers who operate illegal businesses.
To support Hampshire Constabulary’s role in Operation Tornado, officers continue to build the local intelligence picture around the theft and trade of stolen metals by actively engaging with scrap metal carriers and dealers to identify those individuals or companies that are not complying with the latest legislation.
Inspector Jackie Willson, said: “The new Scrap Metal Act puts the responsibility on dealers to take action to ensure that they comply with the law.
“Currently, our officers are engaging with scrap metal carriers and scrap yard owners to ensure that they are aware of the changes.
“However, from 1 December, the option of enforcement action will be at our disposal, which could result in a hefty fine or the seizure and disposal of any scrap metal that is being transported.
“The theft of metal in other parts of the country has proved lucrative, but this new Act should ensure that only those scrap dealers who are prepared to operate within the law will profit from the sale of metal in Hampshire.”
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