Thursday, 17 July 2014

The crackdown on the illegal trade of metal has been boosted by government funding of £500,000.

The Home Office and Department for Transport have agreed to provide further funding for the National Metal Theft Taskforce. The taskforce develops intelligence, coordinates activity and targets and disrupts criminal networks - both the thieves and also the criminal market, including rogue elements of the scrap metal industry.

The funding follows a request from the British Transport Police, which leads the taskforce, and means the government has invested more than £6 million in the initiative since it was launched in January 2012. The latest funding, which runs to the end of September this year, will allow the taskforce to continue its hugely successful programme of coordinated national days of action.

These targeted operations against unscrupulous scrap metal dealers, in conjunction with police and local agencies, have so far resulted in more than 1,000 arrests for theft and related offences and police have seized more than 600 vehicles involved in criminality.

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said:
The coalition government has made it harder than ever before for metal thieves to prosper and our £6 million investment in the National Metal Theft Taskforce is reaping rewards.
Alongside our reforms to ban cash payments and regulate the scrap metal trade, the taskforce has helped to make it much more difficult for thieves and unscrupulous dealers to profit from crime.
This additional government funding will enable the taskforce to continue its programme of coordinated national days of action, which have so far resulted in more than 1,000 arrests and the seizure of hundreds of vehicles involved in criminality.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
I am pleased we can continue to fund this nationally important organisation. The potential impact cable theft has on the railways is huge, not least the inconvenience to passengers. Network Rail has to compensate operators for the disruption and this is money which could be better spent on improving the network which is a vital part of our economic plan.
For the last two years the taskforce has had a big impact in reducing the number of cables being stolen. Network Rail continues to report that the trend is in decline, with delays to passengers being at an all-time low.

The taskforce forms part of the government’s programme of work to crack down on the illegal trade of metal, and its activities have been boosted by legislation.

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act which came into effect in October 2013, scrap metal dealers are now required to hold licences issued by local authorities.

The licences set standards for record keeping and customer verification and councils may revoke a licence at any time if they believe the dealer is no longer suitable to hold one.

Cash payments for scrap metal have been banned since December 2012.

Statistics published in November 2013 show government action is working. There was a 40% fall in the number of offences for the three months to the end of March 2013 compared to the three months to the end of June 2012.
Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association of Great Britain Office 5, Top Floor,
Charrington House, 17A Market St, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6JX, UK.
Tel: (01543) 254 254
Fax: (01543) 254 274 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Update on Scrap Metal Dealers Act

You might be forgiven for thinking that interest in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 had already faded away.  But you’d be wrong.
Due to the speed with which the legislation was introduced, many local authorities weren’t prepared for the October 1st licensing start.  And in many cases, licences hadn’t been issued by December 1st 2013 – the date on which enforcement action was expected to begin.

But most local authorities are gradually getting to grips with it, with most having now issued the first batches of licenses.

A notable exception to this is Birmingham City Council, where to our knowledge (as of last week), none have yet been issued.  That’s 7 months after licenses were supposed to have been issued.  And this is the single most expensive local authority – at ~£1200 for a single site license.  This is completely unacceptable, and we have given the Home Office, the Local Government Association and Birmingham City Council itself the benefit of our view.

However, we understand that West Midlands Police are amongst the most active Police Forces on metal theft.  One officer told us only recently that 40 illegal dismantlers were discovered in one area of the ‘Black Country’.
MVDA is actively liaising with the West Midlands regional Police Forces and the relevant local authorities, giving advice and guidance on what to look for at sites being visited, how to distinguish ‘used cars’ from ELVs etc.  MVDA also continues to liaise with the other main regional Police Forces, via the British Transport Police in London, the lead organisation in this area.

An interesting observation recently received from two completely separate Police Forces was the problems being experienced with the illegal dismantling of repairable salvage purchased from certain internet auctions.  Hmmm……sounds familiar!

The problem of metal theft is world-wide, and we have recently been told that EU-wide initiatives on stolen metal have already taken place & are continuing.

We understand that in coming months compliance checks by both Local Authorities and Police Forces are likely to increase, with growing emphasis on vehicle dismantlers and salvage agents.  The initial focus of Police attention was scrap metal and mobile collectors, and this seems to have greatly reduced this particular problem.  Attention now, however, is turning to scrap cars.

This is a great opportunity to focus attention on illegal dismantlers, particularly those advertising parts on eBay.
But as is always the case when things start to work, central Government funding for Police initiatives in combating metal theft is being cut later this year.

More information can be obtained from the MVDA Office, or from your local authority. Help and advice is available to MVDA members who may be experiencing problems, please contact the office. Non-members are also welcome to ask for advice, and membership details are available on the MVDA website.

Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association of Great Britain Office 5, Top Floor,
Charrington House, 17A Market St, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6JX, UK.
Tel: (01543) 254 254
Fax: (01543) 254 274 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Important Information for NI Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) Operators

From 21st July Vehicle Services will transfer from DVA Coleraine to DVLA Swansea.

If you are on the electronic system you will no longer need to input all 17 digits of the VIN in conjunction with the VRM.
From 21 July ATFs can submit the VRM and last 6 digits of the VIN and the system will match to the DVLA record if correct.

If there is no match you will receive an error message and must check that the information you entered is correct.  It is important that the information you submit is accurate.  If you do need to enter a non matched record, you will be presented with a pop up requesting you select either ‘UK’ or ‘foreign’ please select ‘UK’ for a Northern Ireland vehicle or continue.

If you use the manual COD/NOD process, then from 11 July 2014 you should send the V913s to:
SA99 1AR

New stock of V913s can be obtained from DVLA Swansea via:

Fax: 01792 783525/01792 788027
or by writing to:
D Basement Stores

For details on joining the electronic system please contact the CoD team

Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association of Great Britain Office 5, Top Floor,
Charrington House, 17A Market St, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS13 6JX, UK.
Tel: (01543) 254 254
Fax: (01543) 254 274