Skip to main content

Scrap Metal

Volume 707: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unregistered or unlicensed scrap metal dealers are operating in England and Wales. [HL664]

The Environment Agency is responsible for regulating operations that store or treat waste, including scrap metal, for recovery or disposal, either under an environmental permit or a registered exemption.

From April to December 2008, the Environment Agency was aware of nearly 300 sites dealing in scrap metal or end-of-life vehicles that did not have the appropriate permit or registered exemption. Environment Agency intervention has to date stopped illegal activity at nearly 100 of those sites.

The Environment Agency is working in partnership with the Association of Chief Police Officers, local authorities and trade associations to tackle this problem.

Scrap metal dealers are also required to register with the local authority in the area in which they operate under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to improve the regulation of the scrap metal industry with a view to reducing metal theft. [HL666]

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has recently reviewed existing legislation with regard to combating metal theft. The recommendations that emanate from this review will be considered with other government departments and stakeholders.

A regional pilot for a national metal theft crime unit was announced by the Home Office and ACPO on 9 January. This pilot will entail the British Transport Police working with local police forces and relevant government departments and agencies which have a regulatory or enforcement role in respect of scrap metal dealers. Efforts will be co-ordinated to ensure that existing regulations are properly applied to ensure that scrap metal dealers in the area are operating lawfully.