Croydon South MP Richard Ottaway's scrap metal bill becomes law
New tougher regulations designed to stamp out illegal scrap metal trading are to come into force after a bill tabled by a Croydon MP became law yesterday.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act will require all traders hold verifiable indentification when completing sales and will hand local authories stronger powers to clamp down on rogue sellers.
Magistrates will also be able to impose unlimited fines after the bill, carried through Parliament by Croydon South MP Richard Ottaway, received royal assent.
Mr Ottaway said: "It marks a significant victory for communities throughout the country. For too long they have provided rich feeding grounds for opportunistic thieves who know they can get rid of stolen metals at rogue or negligent scrap yards.
“Metal theft is no petty crime. It hits at the heart of our daily lives – grinding trains to a halt, cutting off power supplies to hospitals and other lifelines, stripping roofs off churches and schools at huge public expense.
“Even more sickening are the attacks on our crematoriums and war memorials commemorating the nation’s war dead. It is particularly fitting therefore that this law has come in on the eve of the centenary of the First World War.”
The act means all legitimate traders will be listed on a register with councils given powers to revoke licences of illicit traders.
There are an estimated 1,000 metal thefts in the UK every week, costing the country around £220m a year.