Scrap Metal Thieves and Traders Targeted in Dorset Crackdown
8:31am 19th December 2013
Scrap metal traders in Dorset could face prosecution under new laws aimed at cutting down on scrap metal thefts.
Dealers now need a licence from their local council to collect, buy or sell scrap metal.
They also need to verify the identity of the seller.
Scrap metal thieves have targeted the county - stripping lead from church roofs and even stealing man hole covers.
The licence is required for both door to door collectors and scrap metal sites.
Both West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council are responsible for issuing the licences in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland.
There are an estimated 1,000 metal thefts a week in the UK, which is said to cost the country around £220 million a year.
Cllr Robert Gould, Leader of West Dorset District Council, said: "Scrap metal thefts are a scourge on the community, causing damage to buildings and infrastructure.
"What these new laws will mean is that traders will need to prove their suitability to trade scrap metal to the council, which will reduce the likelihood of scrap metal thefts across the district."
The council's licensing team will be working with Dorset Police to enforce the new legislation.