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Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

Section 9: Closure of unlicensed sites

32.Section 9 provides that Schedule 2 has effect. Schedule 2 makes provision for the closure of sites at which a scrap metal business is carried on without a licence. The power is similar to the existing closure powers for unlicensed alcohol vendors under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.

33.This closure power does not affect the ability of the police to bring charges for the offence in section 1.

34.The Schedule sets out that a police constable or an officer of the local authority can issue a closure notice specifying the reasons for such action and the steps that may be taken to ensure that the alleged use of the premises ceases. Once a closure notice issue has been issued, the local authority officer or constable can then make an application to a Justice of the Peace for a closure order to close that site. Applications cannot be made where the premises are no longer being used by a scrap metal dealer in the course of their business and there is no reasonable likelihood that the premises will be used in this way in the future. If the court is satisfied, the court can then make such order that it considers appropriate for the closure of the premises. A closure order can only be made by the court. Such a closure order can vary between requiring the immediate closure of the premises, immediately discontinuing its use by a scrap metal dealer, and requiring a sum to be retained by the court until the requirements are met.

35.A constable or local authority officer can issue a certificate at any time to terminate the closure order where they are satisfied that the need for the order has ceased. Likewise, the court can issue a discharge order at any time where they are satisfied that there is no longer a need for such an order. Appeals in relation to all stages of this process will be available to the Crown Court.

36.The offence of operating premises in contravention of a closure order is punishable on summary conviction with a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

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