A new act has been enforced as a way to reduce the number of scrap metal thefts.
From today, the dealing of scrap metal in the Thames Valley and nationwide has been regulated with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
It requires all scrap metal dealers, motor salvage operators and vehicle dismantlers to have a licence to trade.
The act will require all dealers to make a record of the scrap metal they receive, process or dispatch.
This includes a description and weight of the metal as well as the date and time they receive it.
They must also record the name and address of the seller and any subsequent buyer along with the value of the metal.
All information must be kept for three years and be available to the local authority and police on request.
New scrap metal dealers will only be able to trade after they have received their licence.
A restriction has also been put in place to prevent dealers from buying scrap metal with cash, which also applies to mobile collectors who were previously exempt from this rule.
Dealers must apply for the licence from their local authority before October 15.
If they do not obtain a licence by Sunday, December 1 dealers could face prosecution and a face up to a £1,000 fine, restrictions to trading hours or a Closure Order.
The police hope the act will reduce the number of metal thefts.
Detective inspector Ian Wood, south east regional co-ordinator for metal theft, said: “These new requirements will protect the majority who trade honestly and in accordance with the law and allow us to target those who don’t."
Thames Valley Police saw a 47 per cent reduction force-wide in metal theft in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12.
Visit the www.legislation.gov.uk to apply for a licence.
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