After months of speculation over possible changes in regulation, the Home Office has finally released a guidance document which outlines details of the ‘new’ offence of cash payments for scrap metal. Due to rising prices for metal and steel, theft of these materials has been on the increase over the last few years, particularly from skips. Items could be easily exchanged for cash at scrapyards and waste transfer stations with no real consequence to the individual.
Now, due to this new change in the law, this once cash dominated industry will be fully documented with all parties traceable. We are sure that there will be certain individuals who will manage to find ways around this, perhaps they will find a ‘middle man’ to take the items and a greatly reduced rate to them. However, we are sure that this new law will help to greatly reduce the theft of metal from skips, memorials, train lines, driveways & gardens e.t.c.
KEY POINTS TAKING EFFECT ON DECEMBER 2012
If a scrap metal merchant pays for scrap metal in cash after the 3rd December 2012 the following are guilty of an offence:
- The scrap metal merchant
- The person who makes the payment acting for the merchant
- A manager who fails to take reasonable steps to prevent the payment being made in breach of subsection 1 of the LASPO 2012 act.
Only payments by cheque or electronic transfer will now be acceptable, ensuring a sufficient audit trail.