The ease with which criminals can ‘cash in’ scrap metal has catalysed the enormous rise in metal theft, says Charles Ambrose, Chairman of the Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association
Similarly, the undeclared receipt of end-of-life vehicles by yards and dismantlers (licensed or not) is another aspect of the same problem: it is widely suspected to be the main reason for the much lower than expected number of Certificates of Destruction issued by around 500,000 per year.
From this perspective, the MVDA fully supports the aims of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill to curtail the activities of criminals - whether they are stealing the items, receiving them or processing them illegally.
But the MVDA remains concerned about the way in which any new legislation is implemented and enforced.
New law has to be accompanied by a significant shift in enforcement policy. The proposal that the Bill is regulated jointly by the Local Government Association and the Environment Agency is seen by many as a recipe for more of the same.
The key issue is to provide an audit trail and transparency for all transactions. The MVDA believes that the vehicle registration document V5 remains the best mechanism to demonstrate this.
But significant improve-ments in the current system are urgently needed: most notably a robust tracking system to ensure that vehicles can be traced from cradle to grave and cannot simply ‘disappear’, as has been happening in large numbers for many years.
Charles Ambrose, Chairman, Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association