Recycling and waste management company SITA UK is to incentivise traders at its metal sites to use a cashless payment system.
The company will give traders at its Hayes site in West London, the option to receive payment by cash or via the new cashless scheme in which they will be given an incentive to receive payment via bank transfer on the same business day. The plan is that this will be rolled out across all 10 SITA UK metal recycling sites.
SITA UK estimates that £1.5 billion of the £5 billion metals industry is transacted in cash every year, which makes it easier to sell stolen metal, creates the potential for cash fraud and could mean a significant loss of revenue for the Government.
Launching the scheme at the Hayes site last week, SITA UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “Metal theft is a serious issue throughout the UK and we fully support proposals to update the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. In addition, we believe that the use of a cashless system, coupled with compulsory use of photo ID for all transactions, will help to address the trading of stolen metals and issues such as tax evasion.
“We urge major players in the metals recycling industry to adopt similar cashless systems as a compulsory measure so we can help Government to combat metal theft.”
Crime Prevention Minister Lord Henley, who was also at the launch, said: “Metal theft is a serious and growing problem and the Government is working hard with industry, police and law enforcement agencies to tackle it.
“It is clear that laws passed more than fifty years ago are no longer sufficient to deal with a crime that is increasingly dominated by organised gangs. That is why we are looking at changing the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, 1964.
“In the meantime we are establishing a dedicated national taskforce led by the British Transport Police to step up enforcement and bring more of these unscrupulous criminals to justice. But we all have a part to play in stopping metal thieves and rogue scrap metal dealers from profiting, which is why I am pleased to support SITA UK’s new cashless payment system.”