South Staffordshire Council is seeing an improvement in the way they manage scrap metal licences and share information with other councils since the introduction of E-CINS Scrap Metal Dealer and Collectors Database.
The Council worked closely with Empowering-Communities to design an electronic solution to enable them to manage information about scrap metal licences in one place.
John Littleton, South Staffordshire Council’s Enviro-Crime Enforcement Officer was instrumental in the initial trial and subsequent roll out of the solution across the borough. “It’s saving us a lot of time on inspections as we are able to upload the information straight on to the system via our mobile and tablet devices with no paperwork. It was also very quick to set up – it took just one day for two officers to transfer all of our paper based files onto E-CINS, creating a scrap metal database complete with photographic images and background evidence of dealers’ credentials” said Mr Littleton.
“The E-CINS gallery gives us a “red, yellow and green” visual representation of dealers that we need to be kept aware of – Yellow indicates dealers who have been prosecuted, red = dealers who have been prosecuted for a second time and green = those with no current warnings. This is quick and easy to view and enables us to be extra vigilant in our work. The information we upload to E-CINS also allows us to evidence our reasons for refusing licences which can prove beneficial for prosecution purposes’.
Licences must be applied for at each council area a dealer or collector wishes to operate in. Holding the information on E-CINS allows other partner agencies to view the data held. “I find it useful to see information from other councils” said Littleton. “We stopped someone recently who had a licence in another council area. We were able to see his information on E-CINS, without this we wouldn’t have known who he was.”