Norfolk police in ‘get tough’ pledge over scrap metal deals

Police have warned that they will get tough to enforce new laws to tackle scrap metal theft in Norfolk.

Norfolk police said changes to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act means that, from Monday, it will be an offence to use cash to pay for scrap, whether it is collected door to door or taken to a dealer.

All scrap metal traders will also have to be registered with their local authority.

Detective Sergeant Pete Jessop, from Norfolk police's Operation RADAR, the team which deals with doorstep crime in the county, said: 'The change has been brought in to modernise the industry and to make all those concerned more accountable to where the money comes from and goes to.

'If only cheques and bank transfers are used, everything is more traceable and in the fight against metal theft this is a massive step forward.'

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The cashless model is being brought in all across England and Wales and will affect not only the established yards in Norfolk, but anyone collecting scrap as part of their business.

Det Sgt Jessop said: 'Anyone who collects metal in this way and fails to register or pays in cash commits an offence and will be dealt with by the police and potentially prosecuted by their council.

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'There are some situations where exemptions to the new law may apply, but these are limited and we are working with the relevant councils to deal with these.

'Householders and businesses also have a responsibility when it comes to getting rid of scrap metal. Taking it to the scrap site after Monday and selling it to them will have to result in a crossed cheque or a bank transfer so a bank account is required.

'However, if you give it to a collector who comes to your door, you have responsibilities around how your waste is disposed of so the paperwork should be completed.'

Operation RADAR is working with Norfolk's district councils to help them prepare for the increased amount of people and businesses registering.

Anyone concerned about illegal scrap metal dealing in their area, or anyone offered cash for their scrap from Monday, should contact Norfolk Police on 101 or dial 999 if a crime is in progress.

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