A Salisbury man has been fined more than £1,000 for being an unlicensed scrap metal dealer.

Darren Coombes, of Guilder Lane, pleaded guilty at Salisbury Magistrates for failing to be a licensed scrap metal dealer and failing to be registered with the Environment Agency as a licensed waste carrier.

He was ordered to pay £1,050 in fines, costs and victim surcharge.

The 23-year-old was stopped by Wiltshire Police in the city on May 4. The flatbed transit driven by Mr Coombes appeared to be overloaded with scrap metal including tumble dryers, washing machines, bicycles and other metal objects.

Wiltshire Police informed an enforcement officer from Wiltshire Council. The council officer initiated an investigation into Mr Coombes which involved the checking of waste transfer records at a licensed scrap metal site. It was identified that he had used this site to dispose of scrap metal on numerous occasions, all as an unlicensed collector and waste carrier.

Bridget Wayman, the cabinet member for waste at Wiltshire Council, said: “Members of the public are reminded to be very cautious of anyone offering to remove scrap metal or any waste from their property. The public must ensure they do not hand any such items to anyone without asking to see both their scrap metal dealers licence and waste carriers licence, which must be held by legitimate operators.”

From October 2013, all scrap metal dealers in Wiltshire must be licensed with Wiltshire Council, either as a site or as a collector. This allows them to legally trade to collect, transport and dispose of scrap metal.

Cold calling and buying or selling scrap for cash is illegal and the public are advised to be extremely cautious of ‘cash for scrap’ operators within the county.

Anyone concerned that they may have been approached by an illegal trader can call Wiltshire Council on 0300 4560100.