‘Rag and bone’ man fined
A ‘rag and bone’ man has been ordered to pay £354 in fines and costs after collecting scrap metal without a licence.
Carl Ford, 36, of Repton Avenue, Stockton, pleaded guilty by letter to an offence under section 1(1) and (3) of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 whereby on 2 February 2023 he carried on a business as a scrap metal dealer, by engaging in the mobile collection of scrap metal within the borough of Darlington, without a licence to do so.
On Tuesday 12 September, Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard how earlier this year local authority officers worked alongside Police on a Tees Valley wide operation in which they stopped and checked vehicles carrying scrap metal.
Ford was seen driving a vehicle in Harris Street, Darlington and someone in the vehicle was heard shouting ‘rag and bone’. When stopped, he said that by shouting this, people would come from their houses and give him their scrap metal.
Magistrates were told Ford had previously been licensed but this had expired and he had no paperwork to show where the scrap metal he had in his vehicle was from.
He was fined £146 and ordered to pay £150 costs and £58 victim surcharge.
Councillor Amanda Riley, the council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: I hope this prosecution acts as a deterrent to anybody thinking of travelling into this area to collect scrap metal without a licence.
“Unlicensed collectors take trade from legitimate and licensed dealers and are often linked to later incidents of crime, such as theft and fly tipping.”
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 places a requirement on all businesses involved in the buying and selling of scrap metal to be licensed by the local authority and includes both those who operate from sites and those who collect door to door.
Local residents and businesses are also reminded that they must only use licensed individuals or companies to take their waste away. You can check if a company has a licence through the Environment Agency Public Register -available online at https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers or call 08708 506506.
If you are collecting scrap metal without a licence issued by the local authority area you collect it from, you are committing an offence and can be prosecuted. You also need to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy.
More information about licensing and how to apply for a licence can be found on our website at www.darlington.gov.uk/licensing under Licensing A-Z.