The chief executive of SITA UK David Palmer-Jones has praised the Government for making a start “to get to grips with the UK’s metal theft epidemic”.
In his latest blog, he wrote that as scrap metal prices have risen dramatically and that the regulation around the “outdated” Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 is not fit for purpose, “we have witnessed a systematic attack on the UK’s infrastructure through the theft of metal”.
He added: “The questionable tradition that the scrap metal industry can continue to pay out ever increasing levels of cash with no questions asked to those bringing metals to their yards is now being challenged by both those impacted by the theft of metals and the UK Government.”
There was also praise for the Government, and particular Home Office Minister Lord Henley “for its efficient and quick reaction on this issue”.
He also wrote: “The introduction of a cashless system for the trading for scrap metal is proposed for later this year and will be combined with a strengthening of criminal sanctions and wider police powers. These measures will be further supported with a long overdue revamp of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act where strong licensing requirements will bring the industry into the modern world; professionalising the business which is long overdue.
“These new initiatives will very quickly identify the serious professionals from the rogue traders. In the fullness of time, the industry will learn to adapt to this new professional approach. This will benefit not only the industry, but the UK as a whole.”
SITA UK said in December that it intends to introduce cashless payments at all 10 of its metal recycling sites.