A MAJOR Brierley Hill metals company says it is ready for new laws to curb crooks selling stolen goods.

Masons Metals in Two Woods Lane has been making preparations for the latest developments in the battle against metal theft.

A private members bill outlawing cash payments for scrap metal is set for a third reading in Parliament once it is through scrutiny by a committee of MPs.

Mason Metals managing director, Andrew Jones, said: "Cheques and Bacs payment systems already exist for account customers and are available to all customers.

"These methods along chip and pin are the future; we believe bringing these changes to the customers attention this far in advance will provide a seamless switch over when required.

"A culture change is coming; cash is banned. Police Forces all over the country are insisting scrap merchants sign up to compulsory ID mandates. We have to prepare our business for this change."

Dudley South MP Chris Kelly, who founder and chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Combating of Metal Theft, welcomed the bill's progress.

The bill, which has cross-party support, will ban cash payments to itinerant collectors, create a system of local authority licensing, funded the scrap metal industry, plus grant new powers of enforcement to police and local authorities.

Mr Kelly said: "This is a good Bill, it is well thought through and it is much needed. This is an example of Parliament working in the way that it should to respond to the concerns of our constituents and the issues that are raised with us.”

Aluminium is a metal in demand with prices at around 50 pence-per-kilo (around 65 cans) and Mason Metals is backing a campaign to encourage recycling called Every Can Counts.

Last year saw the biggest ever UK rise in aluminium can and packaging recycling with a 60 per cent recycling rate for aluminium cans.

Recycled aluminium can be back on supermarket shelves within six weeks and every tonne of recycled aluminium saves nine tonnes of carbon emissions.

For more information visit www.everycancounts.co.uk