Clause 18 - “Carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer” and “scrap metal”
Scrap Metal Dealers bill
Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane, Liberal Democrat)
I am grateful for that extremely constructive intervention and I share the sentiments in it.
Let me make two brief concluding points. First, Members will note that clause 18(8) provides a delegated power to the Secretary of State to change the definition of scrap metal, if that is deemed to be a wise course of action. I do not envisage that it will be appropriate to bring extra metals within the scope of the Bill, but should it prove a sensible path to go down, in the judgement of the Secretary of State, the Bill provides for that to happen.
To address my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester’s intervention more precisely, there is a whole body of work that it might be more appropriate to discuss in greater detail in another forum. The police are working to put more rigorous mechanisms in place for transactions involving gold, including requirements to obtain names and addresses of customers, to verify identification, to ensure that customers are over 18, and so on. It might be more appropriate to have a wider discussion of the problem. The amendments will not change the situation relating to gold, but most people would not regard gold as scrap metal. We recognise the seriousness of the crime and seek to put in place measures to combat it, working with the police to make it harder to steal gold and to trade in stolen gold.