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New Scrap Metal Dealer Licences Come Into Force
The new licensing regime under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 will come into force tomorrow (1st October). Under the requirements operators will need to be licensed with local authorities having the power to turn down unsuitable applications. Officers will also be able to to revoke licenses and close any unlicensed sites. Government guidance has been issued on license fee charges under the act, with the power to set fees passed to individual authorities so that each area can reflect the actual costs of the process. The guidance also covers? the different types of licences, police objections to applications and the revocation of licences, along with definitions of the central terms. Local authority and police officers will have powers of entry to inspect sites which will have to prominently display licenses on the premises. Appeals are to the Magistrates’ Court, licenses being valid for a period of three years.
Metal theft figures have seen a large increase in the last 10 years with the Home Office estimating there were up to 100,000 crimes in 2010/11. It’s hoped that the new licensing regime will cut down on these figures, giving police and local authorities more powers to prosecute offenders, as Detective Inspector Ian Wood, Metal Crime Co-ordinator at Thames Valley Police, explained; ?officers will continue to visit scrap metal dealers and prosecute offences if they are detected. We will of course look to use the new powers to push local authorities to revoke licences of those found involved in metal theft or breaching the new legislation.?
The scrap metal procedure has been updated on RIAMS to reflect these changes. RIAMS members, subscribed to Licensing, can click here to view.