Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Classic Cars safer as ‘Scrap metal dealer’s bill’ is passed

New government regulations that introduce rigorous checks when scrapping a car will help stem the tide of classic car thefts sweeping across the nation. Thanks to the ‘Scrap metal dealer’s bill’, it will now be impossible to just turn up to a scrapyard, and expect your car to be weighed-in there and then, without identity and proof-of-ownership checks.

The new bill, which received its third and final reading, in Westminster on 12 February 2013, will have far-reaching, positive, ramifications for the classic car scene in general. So what has this got to do with AROnline, and the classic car enthusiast in general? The answer is lots. The incoming law beefs-up of the regulations concerning the transfer of waste scrap metal to scrap dealers.

So how does this affect you? Simply, if a person rolls up at a scrap metal yard without legitimate identification, they will be turned away – no more ‘M Mouse’, as a name on a hand-written receipt. In theory the pride and joy sat in your driveway shouldn’t disappear on the back of a scruffy HIAB truck to be ‘weighed-in’ at a no-questions-asked scrap metal dealer.

All scrap metal will now be traceable. That is the theory, all laws can be circumnavigated eventually, but this new bill is a huge deterrent.

The basic salient points are as follows:

1) All scrap metal dealers will now have to hold and visibly display a licence.

2) Scrap metal dealers must be able to provide verifiable transaction evidence for two years.

3) Cash and unlicensed/unrecorded transactions face unlimited fines.

4) The environment agency and local councils will have overriding powers to revoke the licences if the above points are not adhered to.

5) Police will have power of closure on any unlicensed premises.

The man we have to thank for this incentive is one of Croydon's Conservative MP's, Richard Ottaway. In statement Richard said: ‘Today marks a significant victory for communities throughout the country. For too long they have provided rich feeding grounds for opportunistic thieves who know they can get rid of stolen metals at rogue or negligent scrap yards. Metal theft is no pretty crime. It hits at the heart of our daily lives – grinding trains to a halt, cutting off power supplies to hospitals and other lifelines, stripping roofs off churches and schools at huge public expense’.

We have high praise for this new bill – hopefully by the autumn, everything should be fully sanctioned. However, in the mean time keep on your guard against the unthinkable.

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