The recent passage of laws in the UK banning cash payments for scrap may discourage crime connected to the trade beyond simple metal theft, if reports from Canada are anything to go by.

Police in Quinte West, Ontario, are seeking two individuals who entered metal recycler Karten Metals in Trenton on Thursday June 13, on the pretext of selling a quantity of scrap copper.

One suspect pulled a gun and demanded money and the individuals then escaped in a waiting vehicle containing additional people, after an unspecified quantity of cash was handed over. 

Police have named the suspects as Melanie Beaulieu, 34, and Taylor Brent Scheel, 27, both of no fixed abode. Police say the suspects are armed and dangerous and should not be approached. 

The lack of cash on UK scrap dealers’ premises will undoubtedly discourage such criminal behavior, as having a full paper trail connected to the payment will make the job of the police in any future similar cases in the UK considerably easier.

Nevertheless, it is not just the untraceability of the cash that will hinder investigations in this case, but the lack of addresses for the suspects.

Perhaps there is room for amendments to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act yet.