Illegal scrap metal collectors banned in County Durham

Peterlee Magistrates' Court.
Peterlee Magistrates' Court.

Two scrap metal collectors who were operating illegally have been banned from carrying out their business in County Durham.

Magistrates in Peterlee have handed Glen White and Aaron Straughair two-year Criminal Behaviour Orders – the first time these powers have been used against waste carriers in County Durham.

The order prevents White from entering any premises licenced for the receipt of waste and scrap metal in the county, from having sole possession or control of scrap metal and carrying out waste and scrap metal collections from residential or commercial premises in the county.

Straughair is banned from having sole possession or control of scrap metal in County Durham and from collecting waste or goods from residential or commercial premises in the county.

The court heard how White, of Shelley Avenue, Easington Lane, was seen on CCTV reversing a tipper truck onto grass at the Grove and Moors Social Club in Consett in November 2014 before disposing of several baths and other items.

He repeatedly failed to attend an interview with neighbourhood wardens from Durham County Council and he had also been stopped four times where he was found to be carrying scrap metal without a licence after he had committed the original offence, the court was told.

Straughair, of Brickgarth, Easington Lane, was stopped in December 2014 while carrying scrap metal where he admitted not having the correct licence.

He was given notice to produce the documents within seven days, which he failed to do, and was handed a £300 fixed penalty notice which remains unpaid.

He had also been stopped twice after committing the original offence while collecting and carrying scrap metal.

White, 29, admitted failing to produce waste transfer notes, knowingly facilitating the deposition of household waste by allowing his vehicle to be used to transport items to the social club and two counts of carrying on as a scrap metal dealer without a scrap metal collectors licence.

Straughair, 25, pleaded guilty to carrying on business as a scrap metal dealer without a licence, littering and two counts of failing to produce waste transfer notes.

In mitigation, magistrates heard that both men recognise that they have been refused a scrap metal licence and cannot continue working as scrap metal collectors.

As well as the Criminal Behaviour Orders, White and Straughair were fined £200 each and both ordered to pay £200 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager, Durham County Council, said: “These prosecutions came about thanks to our ongoing commitment to tackling waste crime and carrying out regular stop and check operations at the roadside.

“These individuals showed no regard for having the correct licences or being able to prove where the waste they were carrying was going and as a result they can no longer carry out their business in County Durham thanks to the Criminal Behaviour Orders they were issued.

“It is particularly pleasing to be able to use these powers to target illegal waste carriers in what is a first for our county.

“We will continue to educate about the consequences of flytipping and scrap metal collecting and take action against those who fail to follow the rules - since we launched our Operation Stop It campaign we have seen a 32 per cent reduction in flytipping so our efforts are paying off.”

•Household waste can be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) – visit www.durham.gov.uk/HWRC - and to arrange a bulky waste collection call 3000 261 000.

•Environmental crimes, including flytipping, dog fouling and litter, can be reported at www.durham.gov.uk or by calling 03000 261 000.

•Unlicensed waste carriers can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.