The CLA says that licensing laws introduced on 1 October – as a result of campaigning by the Association – will make it even tougher for thieves to dispose of stolen scrap metal. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 will require all scrap dealers to apply for a licence from their local authority and to keep records on who they buy from.
Together with the ban on cash payments for scrap introduced earlier this year, the opportunity for thieves to dispose of scrap metal without being traced has become almost impossible.
CLA Midlands Rural Adviser Donna Tavernor said: "We are pleased to see the results of our lobbying put in place so the growing problem of metal theft can begin to be tackled.
"We believe new regulation should only be put in place when absolutely necessary, in this case to deal with the menace of scrap metal thieves.
"Farm machinery, lead stolen from roofs, and copper cable taken from power and phone lines all cause major problems to rural business and communities so these changes to the system will give local authorities real power to combat the rise of metal theft."