From today cash payments for metal at scrap recycling yards will be outlawed under new laws aimed at cutting metal theft. In recent years thieves have targeted churches, railways and even war memorials.
Police estimate metal theft costs the UK economy more than £700 million a year. Phil Brewster reports.
Today, new laws come in banning cash payments for scrap metal.
The aim is to prevent the theft of metal from places like churches, railway lines & war memorials.
Cash transactions for scrap metal weighed in at recycling plants will be scrapped today.
It's in a bid to crack down on cable theft that's been plaguing the railway industry for years.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act has been amended to close loopholes that allows criminals to weigh their stolen scrap metal in, for cash.
Incidents of cable theft have dropped from more than 2,600 in 2011 to under 1,300 so far this year, but it is still considered high compared to recent years.
Under the change, all cash transactions for metal at recycling yards across the country will be outlawed to get rid of the "cash-in-hand, no questions asked" culture.
Police forces across the East Midlands are joining together to combat metal thefts. The problem costs local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.
In Nottinghamshire alone, there have been nearly two hundred thefts in the last month. But from today, anyone wishing to sell metal will have to carry identification so they can be traced.