Scrap crackdown planned

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SCRAP dealers could be forced to register and face industry checks as part of a government crackdown on metal theft.

The £5bn-a-year industry could see a ban on cash payments – a move supported by the British Transport Police – to make metal transactions easier to trace, according to Home Office minister Lord Henley.

It comes as hospitals and schools in and around Portsmouth, the rail network, utility companies, churches and the war memorial at Kingston Cemetery have been targeted by thieves attracted by the rising prices of metal.

‘I think it likely that we will have to regulate,’ said Lord Henley, the minister responsible for crime prevention.

‘We will have to improve the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act which colleagues have been saying is past its sell-by date.’