Thames Valley Police has welcomed new laws to regulate the scrap metal trade this week.
The new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 came into force on Tuesday, requiring scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators to have a licence to trade.
Dealers must apply to their local authority for a licence before the deadline of October 15, and will only be able to trade after getting a licence. Dealers are also banned from buying metal with cash.
Under the Act, dealers are required to keep records of scrap they receive, process, or sell.
Det Insp Ian Wood said Thames Valley Police had already achieved a 47 per cent reduction in metal thefts in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12.
But he added: “This legislation is another way that local authorities and the police can target those trading illegally or dishonestly.”