Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Wednesday July 24, 2019 Beware of 'door knockers'.

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Huge fine for cross-border unlicensed scrap metal collector.

An unlicensed scrap metal dealer from Gloucester has been ordered to pay a total of £16,677.93 in costs and fines after he was caught collecting metal unlawfully in Wiltshire by Wiltshire Council environmental enforcement officers.

On Tuesday 16 July 2019, Mr William Birch aged 65 from Brothering Farm, Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester was found guilty at Swindon Magistrates Court to offences under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

Mr Birch was interviewed under caution by enforcement officers and admitted to collecting scrap metal door to door without any form of scrap metal dealers licence in Wiltshire. This is Wiltshire Council’s eighth successful prosecution in recent months and the largest fine seen handed out by the courts. The council continues to step up its fight against this illegal activity by targeting unlicensed collectors, who operate in Wiltshire and across county borders.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 and Wiltshire Council’s scrap metal dealer licensing system is in place to protect members of the public and to ensure that licence holders are considered ‘fit and proper’ to holder a licence. All scrap metal dealer applications undergo rigorous checks by Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police, including being DBS checked prior to being issued a licence by the Council.

Wiltshire Council is reminding residents to always check the credentials of those collecting their scrap metal and to be wary of adverts on social media offering scrap metal collecting.

All scrap metal dealers in Wiltshire must have a valid scrap metal dealer’s licence and upper tier waste carrier’s licence to operate lawfully.

Residents can report anyone who they believe is an unlicensed scrap metal collector using Wiltshire Council’s online reporting tool ‘My Wiltshire’.

No transactions can take place for cash which is illegal and the public are advised to be extremely cautious of ‘cash for scrap’ operators within the county.

People can report unlicensed scrap metal collectors using www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywiltshire-online-reporting