MORE powers to take enforcement action over illegal or unsuitable scrap metal dealers are due to be approved next week in a bid to reduce crime.
South Derbyshire District Council will become the latest authority to approve the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 when it meets on Thursday.
The act, which was passed in February and is due to come into force nationally on December 1, will see local authorities regulate the trade in scrap metal.
It will give councils the power to refuse to grant a licence and revoke licences if the dealer is considered unsuitable as well as granting new powers for inspections and create new criminal offences for prosecution.
Frank McArdle, chief executive of the district council, said: “These proposals will provide a framework for anyone wishing to start their own business, which will contribute directly to the corporate vision to make South Derbyshire a better place to live, work, and visit, and to the theme of sustainable growth and opportunity.
“(They also) demonstrate that the council takes the protection of residents, and the reduction of crime seriously, which contributes to the theme of safety and security.”
The act was introduced in response to the growth in metal theft offences, driven by the increased cost of metal worldwide. Wide ranges of sectors, in both Burton and South Derbyshire have become victims of metal theft including national transport, electricity and telephone links, and residential buildings including churches and schools.
Under the act, the council will charge for a three years site licence at a recommended cost of £645 and £190 per additional site. A collectors’ licence will cost £420 every three years.
If approved, council and police will have powers to take enforcement action for all offences created by the act.
It is hoped it will halt the rise in metal thefts which are thought to cost the UK economy up to £777 million a year.