Man fined after collecting scrap metal without licence

Get a licence or get fined - that’s the message for any would-be scrap metal collector after a Plymouth man was ordered to pay over £1,600 in fines and costs by the city’s magistrates.

Robert Taylor of Worsley Road pleaded guilty at Plymouth magistrates to a charge of collecting scrap metal without a licence over a six month period from June 2019.

The 49-year-old was fined £461 for operating without a scrap metal licence, ordered to pay £1,200 costs and a victim surcharge of £46.

The court heard that despite being advised by the Council that he needed to be licenced, Taylor continued to operate his business illegally, over the six months. During this time, he deposited scrap metal to the value of £10,000.

It has been the law since 2013 for scrap metal dealers to keep records of what they collect and from whom and they must be licensed. Taylor now has a licence.

This is the second successful prosecution of unlicensed scrap metal dealers over the last month.  Councillor Sally Haydon, Cabinet Member for Customer Focus and Community Safety said:  “Collection, storage or sale of commercial and domestic scrap metal must be correctly licensed.   

“We need to support our legitimate licensed traders who are operating within the law. “There is no excuse not to be licensed. We can and will continue to investigate and prosecute businesses that operate illegally.”

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 makes it an offence for any scrap metal dealer, including collectors, to buy scrap metal for cash.

Dealers have to keep detailed records for receiving and disposing of metal, such as the verification of a seller’s name and address, description of the metal and vehicle registration numbers. This will ensure that shipments are traceable when the police investigate incidents of theft.

There are 13 licensed scrap metal sites in Plymouth and 11 mobile licensed collectors. For more information on licensing and permits visit