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 


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