Scrap metal dealers told of new laws
POLICE have visited the city's scrap metal dealers and their customers to remind them of new laws which target thieves.
A team of officers from the East End neighbourhood team visited three of the biggest metal dealers in the city yesterday as the new law kicked in.
As of December 3 anyone buying scrap metal for cash will be breaking the law. All transactions will need to be recorded and payment made by either a crossed cheque or straight into a verified bank account.
Pc Kevin Richards, neighbourhood beat manager for the East End said the new legislation came after a rising and destructive tide of thefts across the country. Prime targets have included cabling belonging to the railways and telecommunications companies, which has resulted in major disruption for the public.
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Officers yesterday visited SIMS in Sutton Road, Coxside, European Metal Recycling in Cattedown and South West Metals in Cattedown, to highlight the new laws and give advice to the firms and its customers.
Pc Richards said: "We handed out leaflets and notices explaining the legislation as well as information about the use of Smartwater which is being used to mark items like metal. We're trying to get some equipment for the sites to use so they can also check for Smartwater when it comes in.
"Officers using ANPR equipment were also on hand at the sites while we were visiting and one vehicle was stopped as a result."
Pc Richards said the aim was to stop unscrupulous people selling stolen metal by ensuring both the metal and the money paid for it was traceable.
All sellers are legally obliged to produce identification, such as a full driving licence and paperwork proving their home address. In addition, metal can only be brought to the dealers in a registered vehicle.
Scrap dealers can no longer pay in cash and must either use a crossed cheque or pay direct into a named bank account. Those who ignore the new law could face stiff fines. Pc Richards said the hope was to reduce the number of metal thefts.