New legislation now in force makes it harder for rogue traders to deal in stolen scrap metal, including cabling.
All cash transactions for metal at recycling yards will be outlawed removing the ‘cash-in-hand, no questions asked’ culture which has persisted in the trade. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act closes loopholes which have allowed criminals across the country to make money from the theft of metal.
Changes to the Act mean the upper limit of fines has been removed for those scrap metal recyclers which are found to break the law or breach the conditions of their licenses. The new legislation follows a year of relative success for police hard on the heels of metal thieves.
Says British Transport Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Crowther, ‘Despite recent reductions in offending, metal theft remains a serious threat to the infrastructure of Great Britain and we will only make a real difference if we continue to take positive action in conjunction with strengthened legislation.
‘For several years metal thieves and unscrupulous metal recyclers have exploited outdated legislation to make profit from criminal activity. This stops now. Changes to the LASPO Act have outlawed all cash transactions at metal recycling yards across England and Wales and there has been a significant increase in fines for those dealers who fail to abide by the rules.’