Alchemy Metals launches audit trail to tackle metal theft


Stevenage-based scrap company Alchemy Metals has begun a new system that audits all transactions in an effort to curb metal theft.

The new system, which it believes is the first in the UK, involves a 15 to 20 minute audit process taking place when a client enters and exits its facility.


Alchemy has a registration process which includes requesting full photo ID such as a driving licence or passport and current proof of address. A photo ID of the client is taken on site along with further photos of the vehicle, registration number and the materials they are selling. All documents are scanned and filed electronically. Alchemy will also provide Hertfordshire Police with details of every gate transaction that takes place.

The company recently hosted a meeting to demonstrate the new system and discussed metal theft with organisations such as the British Transport Police, BT, the Energy Networks Association, Network Rail and English Heritage.

British Transport Police lead detective on metal theft Chris Hearn said: “Having spent time looking at the processes in place at Alchemy, it is clear to me that they have considerably enhanced the ability of the law enforcement agencies to identify, deter and prosecute criminals and interdict in their activities. They have raised the bar within their industry and sent a clear message out to all that may be considering or are involved in metal theft.”

Alchemy Metals managing director Philip Newman said: “Alchemy have always operated with complete transparency. The new audit gate system will ensure that the materials that pass through our works are legitimately and ethically sourced. We were delighted to host the meeting and to discuss the benefits of robust legislative changes to the current Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964. We are in complete support of legislative changes and hope that our blueprint will become the industry standard once changes take effect.”