New laws to fight scourge of metal thefts

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A Northamptonshire council has warned strict new laws have come into effect this month which mean that all scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will have to have a licence issued by their local council.

It is hoped the new laws will help to clamp down on the estimated 1,000 metal thefts a week in the UK which cost the country around £220 million a year.

Councillor Glenn Harwood MBE, chairman of East Northamptonshire Council’s licensing committee, said: “We’ve all heard the stories about the impact on communities, businesses and individuals, and these new regulations and powers really provide us with the tools to crack down on metal theft.

“To be licensed to operate in the East Northamptonshire district, traders will have to satisfy the council that they are suitable and that they abide by the strict new rules.”

The new rules apply to both scrap metal dealers and door to door collectors and include a ban on paying for scrap metal in cash and a requirement for dealers to verify the identity of the seller. It will be an offence for dealers to make ‘no questions asked’ cash payments which help metal thieves and rogue dealers.

For further information, or for help on applying for the new licences, email licensingunit@northantslicensing.gov.uk or call 01832 742102.