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https://environmentagency.blog.gov.uk/2015/08/06/action-against-illegal-scrap-metal-criminals/

Action against illegal scrap metal criminals

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Regulated industry, Waste

Across the country, officers like myself are working hard with partners to help protect the environment from the detrimental effects of waste crime.  One way we’re doing this is to target businesses and individuals who illegally dismantle vehicles and deal in scrap metal.

dismantled vehicles waste crime site
Illegal vehicle dismantlers, unlicensed scrap-metal dealers and carriers can cause damage to the environment threaten legitimate business

Commercial vehicle dismantling and scrap metal businesses need permits to operate – both from the Environment Agency and local authorities. When a vehicle has reached the end of its life, it must be scrapped at an authorised treatment facility (ATF).

Legitimate operators run sites where vehicles are 'depolluted' and stripped for parts. This means they remove all the hazardous components or fluids – such as engine oil, engine coolant and batteries – which could be dangerous to the environment if not disposed of properly.

To do this safely, the operator must hold a certificate of technical competence and have environmental management systems in place, as well as being legally required to take extra care when producing and disposing of waste. There are also minimum infrastructure requirements in place to protect the environment.

We want to support legitimate businesses, who can lose income to illegal operations, and ensure no harm to people and the environment is caused by these illegal sites.

Scrap metal crime hotspots

One hotspot for this illegal activity is the Boston area, south Lincolnshiren, which is in my patch. We've been carrying out visits to suspected illegal operators and are working with local councils and other partners to  help level the playing field for legitimate businesses which operate in the waste vehicle dismantling sector.

Through intelligence gathering, we’ve identified several small and medium-scale sites of illegal vehicle dismantlers, unlicensed scrap-metal dealers and carriers.

During visits, we provide people running sites with advice and guidance so they are made aware of how to comply with the law. We've made sure they know the dangers of depolluting without the appropriate conditions and the neccessity of having a fire risk plan in place.

We’re also asking landowners not to allow illegal activities on sites or land they lease to businesses or individuals. Waste oil from dismantled vehicles can contaminate land and may have to be excavated and removed for disposal at significant costs to the landowner. It can also pollute groundwater and find its way into drains and rivers.

While we provide advice to those who want to comply, we will continue to get tough on illegal operators,  stopping those who flout the regulations.

Selling scrap metal?

If you’re selling your scrap to a collector or yard, please ask to see see their scrap metal dealers licence, issued by the relevant local authority, and do not under any circumstances ask for cash. You should be paid by cheque or bank transfer to have a valid trail. We maintain a public register for registered scrap metal dealers on behalf of all local authorities in England.

Details on the permits needed to operate a waste business  can be found on GOV.UK.

If you think a site may be operating illegally, you can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers. Call 0800 555 111 or give information anonymously online.

 

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53 comments

  1. Comment by Colin Royle posted on

    are scrap dealers allowed to operate from residential properties, and park their large vehicles on that same street, surely not.

    Reply
    • Replies to Colin Royle>

      Comment by kathrynbooth posted on

      Hello, Thanks for contacting us. Please call our contact centre on 03708 506506 (8am - 6pm Monday to Friday). They will take a few more details from you and advise what registrations / permissions are needed.

      Reply
    • Replies to Colin Royle>

      Comment by Ahmed elagroudi posted on

      Hello i want report scrap yard bought my stolen vehicle without any documents and without any evidence to traced the seller. Psni told me i need to contact yous

      Reply
  2. Comment by Christine posted on

    Property across the street from us has cars coming and going regularly. They move cars on a dolly trailer behind a car that is itself untaxed or on an untaxed recovery van. They do cars up and sell but generally strip them out. Cars change every day. About 12 gone thru them in a fortnight. Move cars at night and day. Loud banging, Shouting and swearing, no health and safety awareness. Blocking road with vehicles. Loading/unloading whilst half on footpath. Council tenants but council don't seem interested.

    Reply
    • Replies to Christine>

      Comment by kathrynbooth posted on

      Hello

      Please report this to our incident team on 0800 80 70 60. They will take further information from you so they can investigate further.

      Regards Amy

      Reply
      • Replies to kathrynbooth>

        Comment by Anthony Mallon posted on

        I have been having the very same problem in Luton.
        DEFRA informed me in June that the business was unlicensed so I contacted Luton Borough Council.
        I have recorded a lie they told me on 2nd June and I suspect many more.
        It is still operating, apparently with impunity.
        DVLA have also been informed of their untaxed tow truck outside: again no action! These people seem untouchable.
        I wonder how long I'd get away selling alcohol from my home without a licence?!!!

        Reply
  3. Comment by JULIAN GREEN posted on

    I live on the outskirts of Brixham, Devon. A the top of our very long hill is farmland and stables. All this weekend (12/05/18-13/05/18) low loaders have been going up the hill carrying 3 or 4 vehicles on each, then returning empty. It may be harmless, but it may not be. The road is called Southdown Hill, and our postcode is TQ5 0AE. Another one has just gone by going up; that's 15 wrecks i've counted so far.

    Reply
    • Replies to JULIAN GREEN>

      Comment by kathrynbooth posted on

      Good Morning - We have sent this to our incident team for their attention - Eileen

      Reply
  4. Comment by Paul posted on

    We have the same thing happening at Friningham farm Detling Maidstone cars Comming in and out on lorries.the site is covered in old engines leaking oil onto open ground. This is a farm full of animals quite concerning.

    Reply
  5. Comment by Sue Hoyland posted on

    hi some advice please i,ve noticed that a scrap yard i pass every day has left its large premises and moved in to smaller one near residential properties were they was before it was bad fuel on roads cars blocking pavements having to watch were you walk(dog walker ) now im dreading the smaller place as they have only been there couple of days and its happening again ..thanks

    Reply
  6. Comment by Anthony Mallon posted on

    In Luton you just can't win. When you complain to either Luton Borough Council or Bedfordshire police they turn you into a hot potatoe, passing you back and forth with neither side accepting responsibility.

    Reply
  7. Comment by Steve posted on

    Hi

    A group of individuals have just begun moving sizeable (although not significant in the grand scheme) amounts of scrap metal (bikes, cycles, mowers) onto a former allotment site directly behind my property.

    What is the appropriate course of action to flag this for investigation as this is very concerning?

    Reply
  8. Comment by Nic posted on

    I am in Bradford and this morning got into a heated argument with a scrapman that pulled into our street and I saw him pulling on my neighbours iron fence and trying to reach over the fence to pull on other bits of metal. After trying to co front him and advising that was private property that he was trying to take and he got very nasty and aggressive telling me to keep my nose out! I know calling the police over this incident will not get a response but I worry that this man will be talking to others like that also. Probs others that are afraid to stand up for themselves unlike myself. Anyway I took pics of his licence plate as he was insulting me and driving off but this Behavior not be accepted or left unnoticed.

    Reply
  9. Comment by Alex D posted on

    A truck reversed into me and my bike today. I took his phone number as he trashed my expensive road bike and I want him to pay. I was lucky I wasn’t killed. Just searched his mobile number and this website was first in the results. I overheard him talking about metal. Truck was dirty. Number plate: NA54EHL

    Reply
  10. Comment by Not a stupid person posted on

    How do you report that sims scrap yard on clough Road in hull are avoiding the tax man as I am used to putting a ton of sand on my van nearly every week and know how much is on just by looking at my leaf springs I took some scrap metal there which almost levelled out my springs which tells me there is easy a ton and a half but they only paid me for a ton they are stealing money from your pocket and its going in there's as much as half a ton of scrap metal is not being put on my invoice they gave me who can deal with this also I know alot of scrap collectors and have heard from the horses mouth they get loads weighed and it does not go through the system this needs investigating as people have to pay for these licences and to collect it due to metal theft and know that know one is recording anything about where the metal is from and is untraceable the second it goes on the ground its picked up and put in the crushers who is going to find any stolen materials

    Reply
  11. Comment by Anon posted on

    Our neighbour collects scrap from our local area and sells it to the local scrap metal merchant in our area. However recently it has stepped up and have had old appliances (sometimes fridges) today on one of the hottest days of the year so far it smells as if they are burning the plastic insulation off cables to save time rather than manually stripping but I have no physical proof who do I share my concerns with?

    Reply
  12. Comment by Christine Dudley posted on

    A scrap dealer brought a stolen car which was mine and it was crushed, the police have told me as the scrap dealer brought the car from a thief I no longer own the car.is this the case.

    Reply
    • Replies to Christine Dudley>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Good Morning - all legislation relating to criminal activities needs to be referred to the Police and advice sought from DVLA regarding the decisions made - The Environment Agency regulate ATF's from the waste side of things, DVLA control the register for all motor vehicles in the UK. Eileen

      Reply
  13. Comment by julia harry posted on

    wow, awesome article. Really thank you! Keep writing.

    http://www.wescrapcar.co.uk/

    Reply
  14. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Really informative blog post. Awesome.

    Reply
  15. Comment by greg page-turner posted on

    Beware of suspicious scrap merchant from Bridgewater. This man details are : Simon from S R Scrap Metals 07786 414 658 environmet agency
    reg no CBDU67686 address : 33, LILLIANA WAY, BRIDGWATER, TA5 2GG

    This man Simon came to our farm looking for scrap On monday 23rd March we had a lot of copper piping and a copper tank ready for newberys of monkton. This chap Simon was very persuasive trying to offer me cash which I tuned him down. He was with me for 40 mins trying every trick in the book to persuade me to part with the copper but he eventually left. Today Wednesday 25th March 2020 I find all the scrap copper has gone. i called simon asking him if he knew anything about the theft. and he is very abusive shouting out many expletives , he then threatening to burn our house down. He has been reported to the police , crime stoppers and the and farm watch. Please do not deal with this person, he is aggressive , abusive and a theif.

    Reply
    • Replies to greg page-turner>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Good morning - thank you for your comment - this has been forwarded to our National Incident Team to log - Eileen

      Reply
      • Replies to eileenroffe>

        Comment by GPT posted on

        please remove my name from this post

        Reply
        • Replies to GPT>

          Comment by eileenroffe posted on

          Hello - our policy is not to reply with names - we are unable to remove or edit your post/reply to us. See if you can enter the blog again to edit your post. Eileen

          Reply
  16. Comment by Anon posted on

    Beware of suspicious scrap merchant from Bridgewater. This man details are : Simon from S R Scrap Metals 07786 414 658 environmet agency
    reg no CBDU67686 address : 33, LILLIANA WAY, BRIDGWATER, TA5 2GG

    This man Simon came to our farm looking for scrap On monday 23rd March we had a lot of copper piping and a copper tank ready for newberys of monkton. This chap Simon was very persuasive trying to offer me cash which I tuned him down. He was with me for 40 mins trying every trick in the book to persuade me to part with the copper but he eventually left. Today Wednesday 25th March 2020 I find all the scrap copper has gone. i called simon asking him if he knew anything about the theft. and he is very abusive shouting out many expletives , he then threatening to burn our house down. He has been reported to the police , crime stoppers and the and farm watch. Please do not deal with this person, he is aggressive , abusive and a theif.

    Reply
    • Replies to Anon>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Good morning - I have forwarded your message to our National Incident Team to log - Eileen

      Reply
  17. Comment by Jessica posted on

    Hi, the bloke next door deals in scrap metal, he’s constantly banging (smashing up bits) shouting and swearing in his garden! It shakes the whole house when he’s banging. The girl he lives with rents the house. Is there anything that can be done?

    Reply
  18. Comment by Tom posted on

    Read this with interest after recently being visited by two blokes in a dropside transit around the back of my house, in wittering near stamford. They had typical boston accents. I suspect I was visited by one of the groups of men you have mentioned. Unfortunately I didnt get the reg of their van, g reg personal plate on a much newer vehicle , but they asked if I wanted to sell the car parked next to the one I was working on, and thir transit already had a completely smashed to pieces smart car on the back. I explained the car was nothing to do with me , and didn't want to get involved but they were very persistent. I've seen these same blokes in the middle of the night trying to nick bikes out of my back garden after being alerted by my dog. I've also seen them down peterborough metal recycling Ltd which I suspect is where they take most of their collections. The owner there told me people often come in selling stuff on drugs.They fly up and down the a1 stealing stuff at night and buying scrap for cash during the day. Since I've lived in wittering I've had several encounters with these blokes. I've had handwritten notes left on another car that was parked up for a couple of months " cash paid for your car " with a mobile number left. These blokes go round all the estates and if they think there is a scrap car they will try and take it . Thanks for the blog. I was wondering g if a license was needed , decided to Google it and it came up.with this. I think people need to be aware of these criminals, and I will certainly be keeping a closer
    Eye out for them in the future

    Reply
  19. Comment by Andy posted on

    Be aware there is a so called business in Oakham Rutland who is illegally storing and dismantling parts off cars and vans, storing write-offs and selling them off as good cars and parts where they can. This has been going on for a while. Other businesses on the Ind. Est. have cctv footage overlooking the car park where up to 50 vehicles are waiting or being dismantled illegally and is definitely a big fire and environmental disaster waiting to happen. Nick's Auto's is the business do not go anywhere near there. Who is the best agency to report this illegal activity?

    Reply
    • Replies to Andy>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      You can report this to our Incident team on 0800 80 70 60. Free contact number and available 24/7 and you can remain anonymous. Eileen

      Reply
  20. Comment by Izaak Bailey posted on

    2 men came onto my property today and started moving items from my garden down to the bottom gate whilst I was at work. My mother was in and opened the window to them to tell them to get off of the property, one of the men came right up to the window and told my mother that he was going to take it all off of her hands and wouldn't charge her. She threatened to let the dogs out if they didn't get off the property and they quickly ran off. This has left her very upset as she suffers with her nerves and worried that they will come back. Who would I call or inform about this? Staffordshire area

    Reply
  21. Comment by John s posted on

    There are two garages based on tithe street, Leicester trading as ‘ A to Z auto salvage' and ' mas salvage’, they are 2 separate garages running under one scrap yard license and they break/dismantle cars without holding any record and have no wamitab competency license to run and there is no competent person (COTC)

    As I am involved in the recycling business myself I know there is a constant demand to make sure all rules and regulations are followed with a correct filling system to keep records up to date and all licenses from scrap yard license to wamitab competency is kept up to date. I feel it is highly unfair that there are breaker yards which are constantly pressured to keep with regulations when there are Ganges like the above which have nothing in place are still running. If it is expected for one to follow rules then all garages should be following rules.

    I would be most grateful if you could look into this matter and take action against these garages. I have listed their full addresses below.

    A to Z auto salvage
    11 tithe street
    Leicester
    LE5 4BN
    01162766080

    MAS salvage
    Tithe street
    Leicester
    LE5 4BN
    01162464000

    Reply
  22. Comment by John s posted on

    There are two garages based on tithe street, Leicester trading as ‘ A to Z auto salvage' and ' mas salvage’, they are 2 separate garages running under one scrap yard license and they break/dismantle cars without holding any record and have no wamitab competency license to run and there is no competent person (COTC)

    As I am involved in the recycling business myself I know there is a constant demand to make sure all rules and regulations are followed with a correct filling system to keep records up to date and all licenses from scrap yard license to wamitab competency is kept up to date. I feel it is highly unfair that there are breaker yards which are constantly pressured to keep with regulations when there are Garages like the above which have nothing in place are still running. If it is expected for one to follow rules then all garages should be following rules.

    I would be most grateful if you could look into this matter and take action against these garages. I have listed their full addresses below.

    A to Z auto salvage
    11 tithe street
    Leicester
    LE5 4BN
    01162766080

    MAS salvage
    Tithe street
    Leicester
    LE5 4BN
    01162464000

    Reply
  23. Comment by A.b posted on

    Redcorn ltd in Tottenham have the worst customer service i have ever encountered.. they're an ATF garage yet they seem to be run as if they're hiding something..

    They have no formal complaints procedure and wont allow me to speak to a manager..

    The issue is they issued a CoD for my vehicle in error in November and still to today have been rude and very unhelpful.
    They've not responded to my last email sent weeks ago and when this was brought up on the phone today i was told to email the claims dept.. which I've already done!..

    I believe they have issues like this a lot and have a great system of fobbing us off when we try to get it sorted!
    My car technically doesn't exist and it needs to be mot on the 6th!!
    DVLA still taking my money for tax and i have lost income due to not being able to drive to work..who is best to register a complaint against the ATF?.
    DVLA are aware and can only reverse the CoD with contact from the ATF garage who again have assured me they've done this , which they obviously haven't, so i think they should be investigated..

    Reply
  24. Comment by Ian Painter posted on

    Is it illegal to collect scrap whilst waiting for your licence approval

    Reply
    • Replies to Ian Painter>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Hello - yes if your licence application has gone for an extra check this can take up to 2 months - if your application has been successful online application, you will be able to access your licence and download it and can begin to transport waste - Eileen

      Reply
  25. Comment by Ian Painter posted on

    Is there a telephone number to report an illegal scrap collector in Wiltshire?

    Reply
  26. Comment by Leon small posted on

    Self made car racking in a breaker yard in first drove fengate Peterborough business name asr auto breaker went over there to get a part and the car rack was tilted and not even straight and was stacked 4 cars high looked like it was going to collapse anytime I found other customers around there if that collapsed could have killed people as there is tonnes stored on them racks, knew it was self made as not straight not same length beams no safety at all

    Reply
  27. Comment by Carol Wilson posted on

    We have a legal company called Crow Metals who have large lorries delivering the metal and parking across residents houses. The main issue also is when they break up the metal little shards of metal is being spread outside the property in the park and over peoples gardens and houses. What are our rights over this issue, who do we report it to as the local council seem to do nothing.

    Reply
    • Replies to Carol Wilson>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Blocking access by parking is governed by your local council, but the issue of waste escaping an environment Agency permitted site should be reported direct to our 24/7 Incident Hotline on 0800 807060. An officer can then be assigned to investigate. Thanks - Joz

      Reply
  28. Comment by MF posted on

    Are farmers - who are not scrap metal merchants - allowed to just keep piling up scrap metal beside our home? They had loads of wrecked cars in one field (recently moved - sold!) and then right beside our home (in their old stables) they have 10-12 ft high scrap heaps that have been there for years now, and again last weekend they have added the carcasses of 4-5 caravans to it. I only ask as it seems ordinary residents like us have zero rights, yet farmers seem exempt from every law and license the rest of us have to abide by. Any advice please?

    Reply
    • Replies to MF>

      Comment by eileenroffe posted on

      Please report illegal import of scrap vehicles to site by calling our 24/7 Incident Hotline on 0800 807060. An officer will be assigned to investigate. Thanks - Joz

      Reply
  29. Comment by Turker pinar posted on

    I have brought a car privately online. Prior buying I had done hpi check which came out all clear. Vehicle still has valid mot. Seller sent off log book to dvla at postoffice.however o was not able to tax vehicle and seller suddenly disappeared and no longer uses his mobile number.called dvla and was told that this vehicle is no longer in existence.no further information can be given as I am not the owner on v5.i called up trading standards however they was not able to help at this stage.when I went through all the vehicle receipts and paperwork I found a number that had belonged to the previous Owner which I then contacted. I was told that 1 month ago he had sold his vehicle to a local scrapyard for recycling/dismantling. The scrapyard is very close to wear I live. Seems like the scrapyard sold vehicle onto someone else (which might be a breaker or exporter)and that person decided to sell it instead. But did not take into consideration that once a vehicle has been declared scrapped this cannot be roadworthy anymore and I can never have ownership of the vehicle v5.

    Reply
  30. Comment by intornet watcher posted on

    I can not understand why you bought the car in the first place, we live in a world of mainly con men, I went to a local scrapyard after being sent a driveshaft through the internet, this was local to me, googled it on earth, always use that when buying anything off the net, anyway, the driveshaft had more lift than the one I was replacing after a local Garage put it on his lift ramp, as it was local I decided to take the driveshaft back, I had noticed through Google earth,(bless them), I hole in the steel fence, I walked across to the office, it had a large sign on the door THIS OFFICE CLOSED, lol, I tried the door a few times, then it opened, an Asian fella, and some other guy said 'what are you doing here', I told him I wanted my £20 back, was refunded, less £1 30p administration costs,lol, if your going to buy from a scrapyard through the internet, make sure it is local, returns will be fobbed off and many only do that through E=Mails, getting you, money back would be like getting an audience with the Pope remember!!!, I was LOCAL!!!, what if it was a hundred miles away, remember!! lots , as I have said, are through E=Mails, I was lucky then but, I sent for a new driveshaft to J&R trading, tie cross road Birmingham, I put my car up on heavy timber, opened the box, it was the wrong one, I was livid, I felt a right dope, I rang up, a nice ladies voice on the intro told me 'returns must be done by E=Mail, as I had paid them over £50 for the driveshaft I was livid, then I read the reviews,Aaaaagh, one lady had the wrong article, was told to post it back, they would pay that and refund her, Aaaaagh, after getting writers cramp sending E=Mails and no reply she has given up REMEMBER!!!, READ THE REVIEWS BEFOR BUYING OFF ANY COMPANY, THE SNAKES ARE OUT TO FLEECE YOU.

    Reply

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