The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 received Royal Assent on 1 May 2012. The legislation sets out changes to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 that currently regulates the scrap metal industry. The changes aim to remove the rewards that make metal theft such a low risk criminal enterprise for metal thieves and unscrupulous dealers.
The revised legislation creates a new criminal offence which prohibits scrap metal dealers from paying for scrap metal in cash, only permitting electronic payment or payment by cheque. The Act will also increase significantly the fines available for key offences under the existing Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 so that the most serious breaches can result in a level 5 fine and revise the police powers of entry into scrap metal yards, allowing the police to enter, by warrant, any place to which admission is reasonably required to ascertain whether the prohibition on cash payments is being complied with.
This document provides details of the new offence of purchasing scrap metal for cash and sets out how the new offence will be implemented from 3 December 2012.