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Lack of licences undermines scrap enforcement initiative

Businesses and residents in Oxfordshire have been told to check that scrap metal dealers are licensed even though two councils in the county have yet to issue licences under the new legislation.

All such dealers are now legally obliged carry a licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 which came into force on 1 December.

The Oxford Waste Partnership has issued a notice stating that police and local authorities will be taking action against unlicensed dealers.

It said: “Local businesses and residents are advised that they have a responsibility to check that the dealer is licensed and also the holder of a waste carrier’s licence before allowing them to take scrap metal and may commit an offence if they fail to do so.”

However, a spokesperson confirmed to MRW that two of the five councils in Oxfordshire had not yet issued licences and the pair will not be taking enforcement action until they do so.

When asked about the conflicting message that the notice sends to the industry, she told MRW: “We were just trying to make people aware of the new legislation.

“It’s really unfortunate that there has been a slight delay and the licences should be ready to go by the end of this week.”

She said no action will be taken against those scrap dealers who have not got a licence and the police have a database of all dealers who are due to get one.

The British Metals Recycling Association recently said local authorities had struggled to issue licences as police begin a crackdown on dealers without appropriate documentation.

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