Ayrshire has been revealed as a hotspot for metal thieves, as crime-fighting agencies are heralding the introduction of new legislation aimed at tackling the blight of metal theft.
Authorities including British Transport Police and Trading Standards will be involved in enforcing the changes to law, which became effective on 1 September, banning the use of cash when buying or selling scrap metals.
Despite a recent reduction in cases, the crime continues to harm Scottish businesses and communities, with 417 metal related crimes reported between April to July 2016 resulting in close to a £600,000 estimated repair cost.
A total of 43 cases were recorded by Ayrshire Police.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson, said: “While most scrap dealers are law-abiding businesses, metal theft remains a severe problem in Scotland and so required us to put in place more effective regulation to make it harder for thieves to dispose of stolen metal.”