SCRAP dealers across the Cleveland force area are receiving visits from police to ensure they are complying with new legislation banning cash payments.

From this week anyone wanting to sell scrap metal will only be able to receive payment through an electronic transfer or via cheque.

Detective Chief Inspector Jon Green has organised a day of action in an effort to reinforce the message to dealers.

He said: “This legislation represents a huge step forward in terms of properly and lawfully regulating the scrap metal industry and we will be working closely with all of our local scrap metal dealers in the coming weeks and months to promote the legitimate trade of valuable metals on Teesside.

“Effectively this legislation means that all transactions are now cashless – so any sales in scrap metal will now be paid by cheque or electronic transfer.

"This will ensure that the record keeping around valuable metal sales is much more accurate and those selling valuable metals far easier to identify.

"Any breaches of these laws may see the seller, the scrap metal dealer business and the manager of that yard prosecuted.”