A survey has found that vitually every builder, plumber or person working in the construction trade has been approached by someone begging for scrap metal.
Data from BusinessWaste.co.uk found that 81 per cent of construction and tradesman workers have been approached by scrap traders in the past.
While 39 per cent of construction and tradesman say they’ve had scrap metal taken without permission.
Residents also say that these metal collectors are asking for scrap with 69 per cent reporting it in the past month. Of these, 8 per cent said dealers appear on their street more than once a week.
BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesman Mark Hall said: “It’s a new age of rag-and-bone men. All they’ve done is swap the horse and cart for a white van or the back of an estate car.
“Crime is costing tradesman a fair bit of cash, as it scuppers their chances of selling the scrap for their own pocket. It also hits companies such as us who have proper certification and procedures in place.
“Long gone are the days when you used to have to pay to have almost worthless waste metal taken away. Now, you just have to turn your back on it for five minutes and somebody’s helped themselves.
“Unfortunately, as most of these people aren’t registered in any way, council enforcement is difficult. It’s time to discourage these chancers.”