NEW legislation governing the scrap metal trade came into force this month, making it illegal to buy and sell scrap metal for cash.
Following the introduction of the Scrap Metal Act, dealers will have to register with their local authority and keep records of transactions.
It is hoped the law will make it easier to trace stolen metal and tackle dealers running illegal businesses.
Police have today (Wednesday) urged traders to get to grips with the new regulations, and warned those who do not comply could face a hefty fine or the seizure of any metal in their possession.
Hampshire and Isle of Wight officers assigned to Operation Tornado, a national crackdown of illegal scrap metal dealers, have been gathering intelligence and working with traders to expose those operating illegally.
Insp Jackie Willson, Hampshire Constabulary’s lead for Operation Tornado, said: "The new Scrap Metal Act puts the responsibility on dealers to take action to ensure they comply with the law.
"Currently, our officers are engaging with scrap metal carriers and scrap yard owners to ensure they are aware of the changes. However, from December 1, the option of enforcement action will be at our disposal, which could result in a hefty fine or the seizure and disposal of any scrap metal that is being transported.
"The theft of metal in other parts of the country has proved lucrative but this new act should ensure only those scrap dealers who are prepared to operate within the law will profit from the sale of metal in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight."