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Cracking down on scrap metal thefts
8:10am Monday 30th September 2013 in News
A NEW charge is to be brought in for Swindon’s scrap metal dealers as part of a bid to tighten trading rules and crack down on crimes in the industry, Swindon Council’s licensing committee agreed to introduce a fee of £190 which all dealers will have to pay to secure an official licence for working in the borough.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, starting in October, will also see a number of changes made nationally and locally for traders. This includes a central public register containing details of all businesses licensed in the industry.
Councillor Michael Davidson, who chaired the licensing meeting, welcomed the developments and said he hoped this would deter future criminals.
“I welcome that the council have introduced these licenses for scrap metal dealers as part of the Government’s push to reduce theft of metal,” said Coun Davidson, who represents Lydiard and Freshbrook wards. “They will cover both sites where people can take scrap metal to and people who come door-to-door collecting metal. These provisions mean that as a council we can stop those convicted of a relevant offence from being a scrap metal dealer within Swindon. For those dealers who are approved they will have to keep more records of who they buy the metal from and prohibits the dealers from buying with cash.”
He said that previously anyone could door knock trying to sell metal, with customers having no way of knowing if the goods were stolen or not. The new documents, which will either be a site/premises or a mobile licence, will help residents in indentifying the official traders.
The authority will consider whether the applicant has been convicted of any relevant offence, has been the subject of an enforcement action or whether there is any environmental issue before granting a licence.
Last year police launched a number of county-wide crackdowns on illegal scrap metal dealers.
The number of scrap metal thefts across Wiltshire has been dropping with a reduction of 127 incidents reported to police between September 2011 to 2012. And only 29 thefts were reported in January this year compared to 131 in January 2012.
For more information about the licence, which comes into effect from tomorrow, call 01793 445500.