‘We’ll catch you’ warning as unlicensed scrap metal carriers fined
Unlicensed scrap collectors have been put on notice this week after two successful prosecutions by Canterbury City Council with the help of the Kent Police Rural Task Force.
As part of an operation known as Operation Assist, 29-year-old John James Smith of Wife of Bath Hill, Canterbury, has been left with a bill for £1,250 after pleading guilty to three offences at Margate Magistrates’ Court on 29 August.
Canterbury City Council’s Environmental Crime Officers were working with Kent Police Rural Task Force on both 10 January and again on 24 March this year when they stopped a vehicle transporting a quantity of scrap metal.
The driver was spoken to and identified himself as Smith.
He confirmed he held a valid waste carriers licence but did not hold a scrap metal licence and had not kept any documentation in relation to recent transactions.
Further enquiries revealed he had been collecting scrap regularly and receiving money for this.
Smith attended Margate Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to three offences. He received a fine of £750, victim surcharge £300 and costs of £200.
Meanwhile, 41-year-old Stephen Stutter of Sea Street, Herne Bay, has been fined £250 for not holding a scrap metal licence.
The council’s Environmental Crime Officers again teamed up with the Kent Police Rural Task Force on 3 February this year when they stopped a vehicle transporting a quantity of scrap metal in St Annes Drive, Herne Bay.
The driver was spoken to and identified himself as Stutter.
He confirmed he did not hold a waste carrier licence. He bought one on the day of the stop.
He also confirmed he did not hold a scrap metal licence.
Stutter did not attend Margate Magistrates’ Court on 29 August and was found guilty in his absence.
He received a fine of £250, a victim surcharge of £100 and prosecution costs of £200.
Canterbury City Council’s Cabinet member for enforcement, Cllr Connie Nolan, said: “If you are collecting waste and scrap metal illegally and without the right licences, beware.
“You never know when our Environmental Crime Officers and the police will catch up with you and these cases show our determination to prosecute those who break the rules and hit them in their pockets.”
Sergeant Darren Walshaw from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force said: “We work regularly with councils to target those who repeatedly break the law and operate illegally.
“Frequently the illegal transporting of waste and scrap metal can be linked to other forms of criminality, including flytipping, so we will pursue those who do not have the correct licences.”
Published: 6 September 2023