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Cash is not always king!

1st March 2012 Posted by

Scrap metal prices have risen dramatically and the regulatory system based around the outdated Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 is not fit for purpose. As a result, we have witnessed and endured a systematic attack on the UK’s infrastructure through the theft of metal over the past few years.

The questionable tradition that the scrap metal industry can continue to pay out ever increasing levels of cash with no questions asked to those bringing metals to their yards is now being challenged by both those impacted by the theft of metals and the UK government.

Crime Prevention Minister Lord Henley and SITA UK's Mark Woodroffe

Crime Prevention Minister Lord Henley and SITA UK's Mark Woodroffe at the launch of SITA UK's cashless payment system at its West London metals recycling site

It has taken the scrap metal industry some time to accept the need to be more controlled. However, the wave of public anger around metal theft has galvanised politicians of all parties to come together to solve this growing problem and force change to happen.

Led by Lord Henley, Crime Prevention Minister at the Home Office, the Government should be credited for its efficient and quick reaction on this issue. Using the Legal Aid Bill, which is traversing through the ‘Houses’, another member of the House of Lords, Lord Faulkner, has provided a regulatory vehicle to make a number of swift changes to legislation which start to get to grips with the UK’s metal theft epidemic.

The introduction of a ‘cashless’ system for the trading for scrap metal is proposed for later this year and will be combined with a strengthening of criminal sanctions and wider police powers. These measures will be further supported with a long overdue revamp of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act where strong licensing requirements will bring the industry into the modern world; professionalising the business which is long overdue.

These new initiatives will very quickly identify the serious professionals from the rogue traders. In the fullness of time the industry will learn to adapt to this new professional approach. This will benefit not only the industry, but the UK as a whole.

Do you agree with the metals industry going cashless? I would be keen to know your views!

One comment on "Cash is not always king!"

  • Good to see Sita taking a lead on this issue. What most people don’t realise is that this is not a victimless crime.

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