POLICE raided an alleged unlicensed scrap yard as part of a continuing crackdown on rogue traders.

Officers and council licensing staff spent hours searching the lock ups and businesses at a site in Goodview Road, Basildon.

Site owner Ray Coleby claims he is not a scrap metal dealer, but admitted he did not know some licences were needed for the vehicles and metal on the site.

He now has three months to put the yard, which includes a mechanic’s workshop and containers belonging to other people, in order. He said: “I have got nothing to hide.

“Police are more than welcome to come down and look for scrap metal as I don’t do scrap metal.

“The licences are something I will have to sort with the council.

“I don’t understand why now as we have always done this for the last 30 years, but something has got to be put in place.”

About ten officers arrived at the yard at 10am yesterday and began checking vehicle registrations, paperwork and searching shipping containers.

Nothing illegal was found.

PC Wyn Sharp, who is based in Billericay and led the operation, said: “Police have executed a warrant under the ScrapMetal Dealers Act at Goodview Road, because it was an unlicensed site and we believed there to be a scrap metal business here.

“I have given them a site closure notice, which lasts until October, and I will be down here a lot.”

Four people based at the site were also given closure notices, which states what they must do to resolve the issues.

A spokesman for Basildon Council said: “We received intelligence from Essex Police that the site was possibly dealing in scrap metal or breaking down vehicles for scrap. Being able to enter the site gave us the opportunity to see exactly what activities were going on.

“It was clear the area is being used to dismantle vehicles for either scrap or for repair and resale, therefore a site licence, issued under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 is required.”

Essex Police and Basildon Council are continuing to work together to crack down on rogue scrap metal dealers working without licences.