A CRACKDOWN on illegal metal dealing in Blackburn with Darwen has reduced the number of traders peering over people’s back walls looking for scrap.

Borough environment chief Jim Smith hailed the success of the new registration and licensing system when it was debated by the council’s executive board.

The policy was introduced as part of a nationwide scheme under the Government’s Scrap Metal dealers Act 2013. It forces dealers to take out a licence for their activities, pay a registration fee to the local council and forbids cash payments for scrap metal.

Traders have to keep records of what they buy, who they buy it off and what they do with it after purchase. Dealers who break the rules can have their licences revoked.