Abolition of Cash for Scrap

Aims to remove the rewards and increase risk for metal thieves

With effect from 3rd December 2012

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 received Royal Assent on 1 May 2012. This legislation sets out changes to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 that currently regulates the scrap metal industry. The changes are designed to remove the rewards that make metal theft a low risk criminal enterprise for metal thieves and unscrupulous dealers.

SWM have been working in close partnership with the Police to help tackle metal theft by making it easier for them to track down the thieves.  Working within the Police ‘Operation Tornado’ guidelines, SWM have required enhanced evidence of identity from anyone disposing of scrap metal for cash e.g a passport, driving licence and recent utility bill.

New cashless trading legislation is planned to come into force from 3rd December 2012 to help crack down on thieves further. It will outlaw cash payments for scrap metal and ensure that funds are transferred by a method that records both the seller and the purchaser’s details.

Legitimate Scrap Dealers such as SWM welcome the new tighter regulations and fully support bone fide scrap metal trade.

Local authorities and police forces are responsible for checking records

Once new legislation is in place there is a danger that thieves will turn their attention to new revenue streams and may look to gain from other areas of scrap & recycling. Charity shops may lose out as thieves seek to take donated clothing and claim ‘cash for cloth’ and this could lead to more stringent regulations on a wider scale.