Paul Crowther, deputy chief constable of British Transport Police said: "The new laws that come into place today change a number of issues in respect of scrap metal. First of all it increases the sentences that are available under the existing legislation.
"It provides powers to the police to end unlicensed scrap metal dealers for the first time and introduces a new criminal offence of trading in cash for metal, which is a very significant measure in tackling metal theft at the point where it's sold into scrap metal yards."
More top news
A bizarre protest against BP sponsorship at the British Museum used theatre, sea shanties and 'mermaids' to 'summon a Kraken'.
Two men have been jailed for robbing a man aged 79 as he was washing his car.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil made a young fan's day by throwing him his shirt after the drubbing of rivals Chelsea.