Anyone dealing in scrap metal in the Lancaster area must now have a licence to trade following the introduction of tighter regulations.
Lancaster City Council will have the power to refuse a license to someone if they have a criminal record, and anyone who trades without a licence can now be prosecuted.
The new rules have been put in place as part of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, mainly as a result of an increase in metal thefts.
Anyone wanting to apply for a licence will have to shell out £150 for a site licence or collector’s licence, £80 for a variation of a licence from site licence to collector’s licence or from collector’s licence to site licence, and £40 to vary the details on a licence.
Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Like many parts of the country we have seen an increase in recent years of metal theft such as the theft of lead sheeting from roofs and cable from important electrical infrastructure.
“The new licensing regime will replace outdated legislation and put into place a better system to regulate the scrap metal industry.
“We will be able to refuse a licence on the grounds that someone is not a proper person to operate as a scrap metal dealer, for example if they have a criminal record. Anyone who trades without a licence can be prosecuted and we will be working closely with the police to enforce the new legislation.”
A separate collector’s licence will be required in respect of each local authority area in which the mobile collector operates, and licences will last for a three-year period.