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Boston scrap dealers warned

A joint operation by Boston Borough Council, Lincolnshire Police and the Environment Agency has fired a warning shot across the bows of scrap dealers slow to come into line with new legislation to help prevent metal theft.

The new rules came into force in December and are aimed at reducing dodgy deals involving stolen metals such as copper cabling and church roof lead.

The Environment Agency was checking compliance with the Environmental Permitting Regulations 2010 during the multi-agency operation - dubbed Brompton - in Boston.

Adam Glassford, of the Environment Agency, said: "Sites that have a scrap metal licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 also need to have the relevant environmental permit or waste exemption from us to be able to operate. Sometimes, operators think a licence is enough, but this is not the case. For example, a site which dismantles vehicles for parts would need a permit. Anyone with a collector's licence would need to be registered as a waste carrier with us.

"Anyone operating without the appropriate permit should watch out. We will continue to work with our partners including local authorities and the police to identify those who flout the law."

Operation Brompton led to two scrap dealers being ordered to stop trading until they get their licences. The Environment Agency found two sites operating without an environmental permit. Four licensed dealers were asked to tighten up their paper work and will be revisited. Efforts are being made to locate the owners of two other premises which appeared to be conducting scrap metal businesses.

The new rules around licensing are intended to ensure there is an audit trail  for every transaction. Dealers have to keep accurate records of who has weighed in metals and what they weighed in. Cash deals can no longer be done.

Over the past few years the theft of metals in the form of cable and road signs has grown along with the theft of lead from roofs. The purpose of the day of action was to visit scrap metal dealers and vehicle dismantlers to ensure compliance with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Records and stock were examined and checks were made to ensure that waste liquids such as oils and chemicals associated with the removal of pollution from waste vehicles were given to waste carriers or sites authorised to take the waste.

If you suspect that a site or waste carrier is operating without a permit, contact the Environment Agency's 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60. To apply for a permit, contact your local Environment Agency office. Details can be found at Recycling waste management

If you suspect a scrap dealer site is operating illegally you can also contact Boston Borough Council's licensing section on 01205 314235 or email licensing@boston.gov.uk.

For more scrap metal dealer information visit Scrap metal dealers' licence