Tuesday 28 January 2014

Are You Bothered By Scrap Metal Collectors?

Fed up with them ringing bells? Want to see them driven off the roads?

Well, it seems the answer’s simple:
Police investigating reports of a van acting suspiciously near schools in Great Barr have arrested three men.
A teacher at Perry Beaches School raised concerns after parents reported a van cruising the area.
Officers detained the men, aged between 22 and 41, after stopping a white Ford transit van, which was collecting scrap metal, as it travelled along Sterndale Road, Great Barr at 8:50am this morning (Thursday 23 January).
It’s rather frightening, isn't it? I’d better put my foot down when I next pass a school – don't want anyone to get the wrong idea!


Anonymous said...

"after stopping a white Ford transit van, which was collecting scrap metal"

They must be the first Pikeys to collect scrap in a Transit; Transits are much better suited for selling stolen wares at 'knock down prices', squirrelling away cat convertors and for dumping 'landscaping materials' (including roofing felt, natch).

Good spot, Julia!

Woman on a Raft said...

Hmm... I'd want a couple of crucial details before making my mind up.

It makes a difference if it is established metal collectors of a traveller (i.e white) persuasion. I have never known them to approach any person at a bus stop - why would they? Sounds more like a misunderstanding.

But if the girl felt sufficiently worried so as to run away, it raises other possibilities.

Tatty said...

Legit scrappies round these 'ere parts drive a flatbed lorry and you can hear them coming ten streets away as they announce something unintelligible over a loud-hailer to let you know they're available for business.

The other kind send two young lads over your back-yard wall to knock on the back door while the boss knocks on the front. "Distraction" I call it.

You're supposed to answer the front door to the boss who will ask if you have any scrap metal you would like him to dispose of while the two young lads at the back thieve anything that's not nailed down.

I fell for it once and opened the front door. They got away with an old washing machine I was getting rid of and a double on top single on bottom metal bed frame I wasn't

The 2nd time I opened the back door instead and gave 'em full volume scouse fishwife gob flanked by my two rather large but utterly stupid boxer dogs.

Them boys shot over the back yard wall like shit off a shovel. Not been bothered since :)

microdave said...

"To let you know they're available for business"

It's now illegal to carry out scrap metal transactions for cash. Maybe that's how they were operating, and the cops detained them for that reason?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to remember that one....

Fidel Cuntstruck said...


It's now illegal to carry out scrap metal transactions for cash.

Yes it is, and Scrap Metal dealers, world renowned for their unfailing honesty and integrity, have ensured that the cash business element of the industry is no more ...


Anonymous said...

Say what you like about paedophiles,but at least they drive slowly past schools!

Woman on a Raft said...


Handy outline of the change in legislation which came in to force in October 2013.

Perhaps the police were being quick off the mark in applying it, particularly if they wanted to identify the source of e.g. copper pipes found in the van.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX as they announce something unintelligible over a loud-hailer to let you know they're available for business.XX

I always thought it was "Bring out your dead!"

But aparantly not. Unless they mean your old beer cans?!?

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX microdave said...
It's now illegal to carry out scrap metal transactions for cash.XX

?? You mean "on the street?"... As far as I recall, it was never for cash, it was just people wanting stuff taken away for free.

Or.... I mean, they still have "Mad Mick" the Scrappy....or?

Only with a bank account, or what?

Woman on a Raft said...

@ FT

See guidelines.

That has now changed with the commencement of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. With effect from 1 October 2013 it became illegal for any scrap metal dealer whether mobile or site-based, to pay cash for scrap metal, and all are now subject to the same record-keeping requirements, including an obligation to take and retain copies of identification documents for people from whom they collect scrap (whether or not they pay). Furthermore, scrap metal dealer collectors' licences are valid for collection only within the boundaries of the issuing authority (normally a district, borough or city council).

Basically, if you have a van full of clanging things, you have to show where you got them and a local licence for processing the material.

How far plod intends to enforce this you would have to check with them. I suspect the point is to give them a range of options which they can apply if they find it helpful. If they see someone with metal patio furniture, for example, it may be that they will accept the explanation 'this is second hand garden furniture and I am running it out at a boot sale, it is not scrap'.

If they see the same van full of folded lead, copper pipe or signalling cable, then they may wish to ask further awkward questions.

Furor Teutonicus said...

WoaR. So, that means, if like me, you have no bank acount, you can no longer take Grannys collection od old twin tubs to the scrappy? (Or even Granny. :-) )

That is just bloody stupid and fascist.

IO REFUSE to have a bank account, but the Dictatorship are now saying I MUST?

Then THEY can pay the bloody bank charges!

Anonymous said...

Apart from manhole covers, grates, church roofs, lightning conductors, park benches, road signs, catalytic converters etc, there were two types of scrap theft that finally forced this change. One was theft of cabling from railways that forced the closure of busy lines first thing in the morning, which pissed-off thousands of commuters. The other was theft of metal plaques from war memorials which pissed-off anyone with a shred of decency. The scrap industry has only itself to blame for this law, but it has almost stopped metal theft.

Furor Teutonicus said...

WE used to have Rag and bone men, and scrappys with a hand cart coming around once a week or fortnight. Bu I never remember money changing hands. It was just "GREAT! We got rid of the junk!"

Never WAS quite sure just WHAT rag and bone men collected. As their appeared not to be much of a difference between them and the scrappy.

Woman on a Raft said...

Then THEY can pay the bloody bank charges!

I believe they will, but the condition is that you must be fully identified to them and recorded. This firm offers a cash-card as a payment instrument to suit those who would rather not use banks.


That leaves just the issue of how you collect and handle the scrap. In this case it is granny's and all you are doing is taking it to the recycler's for her, rather than dropping it at the tip and letting the council have the benefit of selling it. Questions might arise if you seem to have rather a lot of grannies.

Anon forgets the third class of scrap - important public works of art which were being stolen. The very large Henry Moore may not have been to everyone's taste, but breaking that for scrap reduced a item worth millions to maybe a few thousand pounds.

The thieves are very lucky they've only been hampered by the cash ban; my favoured response involves sticking a pipe up their posteriors, freezing them solid then dipping them in molten lead so that they remain encased for hundreds of years. These foil-coated popsicles to be driven in to the earth by their sticks, on civic roundabouts in places which need to be reminded of happens to metal thieves.

Anthony Gormley is a wuss.

JuliaM said...

"They must be the first Pikeys to collect scrap in a Transit..."

Round here, there's a chap who goes round with a stolen shopping trolley!

"I have never known them to approach any person at a bus stop - why would they? "

Asking for directions?

"It's now illegal to carry out scrap metal transactions for cash."

Which will stop this effectively as...well.