Police target scrap metal thefts as new cash laws come in

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An operation to target the theft and sale of scrap metal has been carried out during three days of action across Suffolk.

The operation, which coincides with new laws introduced to stop cash sales of scrap metal and a national day of action against metal theft, was carried out over three days at the beginning of the month.

Visits were carried out at 25 scrap metal dealers and registered motor salvage operators to ensure the new laws were being complied with – two were not.

Officers were also deployed to strategic locations where they used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to disrupt the transportation of stolen metal for sale or disposal..

A number of vehicles were stopped along the main arterial roads in the county, 15 motorists were dealt with for motoring offences.

Another motorist was dealt with by the Environment Agency for a Waste Carriers Licence offence.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Mattin from the Serious and Organised Crime directorate said: “The results send out a strong message that the theft and sale of scrap metal will not be tolerated and we will use our powers to deal with those committing offences robustly.

“The new laws under the Scrap Dealers Act will mean that cash can no longer be used to pay for scrap, whether it is collected door to door or taken to a dealer.

“All scrap metal dealers will also have to be registered with their local authority.

“Paying for scrap metal with cheques and bank transfers will make the transaction traceable which is a massive step forward.

“We will work closely with partner agencies to ensure anyone who commits an offence under the new laws is dealt with.”

Anyone concerned about illegal scrap metal dealing in their area, or anyone offered cash for their scrap should call Suffolk Police on 101 or dial 999 if a crime is in progress.