Scores of dealers will be subject to licensing regulations under tough new measures to clamp down on metal thieves announced by the Justice Secretary.
Kenny MacAskill made the announcement as he joined British Transport Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers Scotland for the launch of their Cut Out Metal Theft campaign.
Metal dealers with a annual turnover of £1,000,000 or less will require a licence. This raises the exemption limit from the current level of £100,000, which is considered not fit for purpose given the increase in value over recent years.
The Government is also likely to remove the exemption entirely to bring all dealers into the scheme and will work with the industry to ensure these plans are workable.
“The Scottish Government is taking tough steps to scrap metal theft. With the cost to the UK economy being put as high as £770 million, the status quo is untenable,” said Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. “We will take action on cash payments for metal to remove the attraction of easy ‘ready cash’ payments