Scotland’s Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has unveiled proposed changes to the country’s licensing laws that would prevent scrap metal dealers paying cash for materials, similar to existing laws in England and Wales.
The proposals are part of the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill, which was laid before parliament today. It will need to go through the three stages of the Scottish legislative process before being put to a parliamentary vote, which is expected for next year.
The bill is designed to improve public safety and includes stricter air gun regulations and measures surrounding alcohol consumption by young people in public.
In a consultation on the scrap metal licensing regime carried out in April, it was claimed that 6,000 incidents of scrap metal thefts were reported as crimes in Scotland in 2011. A study conducted by the Association of Chief Police Officers also found that the estimated value of stolen scrap metal in the country stood at £7.5m for 2011 and a further £2.8m for the first half of 2012.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 for England and Wales introduced a mandatory licensing regime for dealers.