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Why are scrap dealers portrayed as criminals?

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Old Joe (left) lends a hand to Breaking Bad’s drug pushers


Scrapyards are invariably portrayed on screen as dens of villainy and vice. Why?

Whenever I tell people my family has a scrapyard, I usually get one of three responses

So, have they ever put anyone in the crusher? Are they armed robbers? or a look somewhere between shock and fear.

While these presumptions amuse and annoy me in equal measure, the stereotype seems to be consistent across the scrap spectrum. Whether it’s a car breaker’s, a junk yard, or a scrap metal yard, the whole industry seems to have a very bad reputation.

It would, of course, be foolish to deny there are some rogue traders in the business. The recent and well-reported surge of metal thefts has only underlined there are yards that don’t operate within the law.

By buying scrap metal “no questions asked”, some dealers have helped to fuel a crime wave that has plundered the UK’s railway cables, copper roofs, sculptures and anything else metal that can fit on the back of a wagon.

But the public image of the trade had a big question mark over it well before this, and I can’t help but think TV and film have played a leading role in manoeuvring it there. Who hasn’t seen a villainous depiction of a scrap dealer on TV?

The stars of The Sweeney and Minder, two of the biggest British shows of the 1970s and 1980s, regularly had it out with dodgy scrap men, scuffling between stacks of battered Vauxhall Vivas and Ford Cortinas.

What about Steptoe and Son? Has there been a grimmer and more grasping pair on TV than these two rag and bone men?

Current BBC shows including Inspector George Gently and New Tricks have both had murder investigations focus on scrap dealers.

In the US TV series Breaking Bad, Old Joe helps the drug-dealing main characters outwit law enforcers on more than one occasion.

Mafia drama The Sopranos has referenced crushers as a body disposal tool, and the CSI franchise loves a good scrapyard storyline too. If they’re not turning up corpses, they are “helping with enquiries”.

And from Goldfinger to Pulp Fiction, everyone must have seen at least one movie in which some body – dead or alive – is locked in a car about to be squashed into a giant Oxo Cube.

They’re private kingdoms hidden from view and lend themselves very well to crime drama – all sorts of nefarious activity can go on behind their bolted gates”

So what is the big appeal of scrap dealers for scriptwriters? Marston Bloom has set stories in breakers’ yards for New Tricks and ITV’s Vera.

“Ever since I became a writer I wanted to use my friend’s yard in a plot – because it is visually fantastic and because any yard would seem to contain a myriad of stories,” he says.

“They’re private kingdoms hidden from view and lend themselves very well to crime drama. All sorts of nefarious activity can go on behind their bolted gates – murder, torture, extortion, abduction – and, of course, any amount of drugs and firearms can be stashed there.”

How do real scrap men feel about their on-screen counterparts?

In some cases, concedes Ged Salt, who ran a breaker’s yard for 25 years, there can certainly be a grain of truth in them. He also says that in reality a bad reputation can be beneficial, even for honest dealers, because their customers can be quite unsavoury.

“Some pretty unscrupulous people come on to scrapyards, and if they think you’re soft, you’re not going to last very long,” he says.

“Everybody wants something for nothing. It’s always been a cash business and people are looking to steal from you most of the time, even if it is just your wallet.”

Salt was stabbed by one customer and badly beaten up by another. “It could’ve happened on any day,” he says.

On another occasion he bought a car in good faith. It came with the correct documentation and – he later discovered – a gun. After he handed it over to the police, it transpired the car had been used in an armed robbery.

“It was a hard, dirty and dangerous job,” he recalls.

Scrapyards only really began to be regulated and licensed in the early 1990s, but since then much more attention has been paid by the government to what they handle, how they handle it, and their environmental impact.

Spurred on by the recent metal crime wave, new laws have also attempted to make it more difficult to sell metal of dubious provenance to a scrap dealer, or for them to buy it.

Source: Motor Vehicle Dismantlers Association

In England and Wales, they are banned from making cash payments and have to keep records for three years of who they buy from, including proof of ID and address.

The police have been given greater powers of inspection, and the penalties made stiffer. And all scrap dealers, collectors and motor salvage operators must now be licensed, a process which includes a criminal record check. Similar legislation is in progress through the Scottish Parliament, and Northern Ireland is also looking to strengthen its laws.

So are these laws a chance for this £5bn-a-year industry to clean up its public image?

Ian Hetherington, of the British Metals Recycling Association, welcomes them as an opportunity to finally rid the trade of its “Steptoe and Son stereotype”.

He adds that the UK is in the world’s top three exporters of recycled metal, and that we have “major businesses operating on an international scale”.

“They make a significant contribution to our economy, and help the UK reach the EU’s environmental recycling targets.

One company that sees itself more in the modern mould of a recycling business is Autospares in Northamptonshire. Julie Mitchell’s family firm has been trading for nearly 35 years and she thinks the scrap industry has changed unrecognisably in that time.

Technology changes so quickly – our next challenge is how to break hybrid vehicles she says. Her firm has an online presence, offers a readily available product and works cleanly in a concreted environment.

She would like to see a better press and a more modern portrayal of the industry. But I think people are coming round to it slowly

As Bloom elegantly suggests, maybe it’s time to find a new visual vernacular for crime drama Then the law-abiding vast-majority of scrapyard owners can get on with their work without fear of stereotyping.

Like my family  they’ve never put anyone in the crusher.

The final episode of Scrappers is broadcast on BBC One on Friday 5 

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İçişleri Bakanlığı’ndan yeni koronavirüs genelgesi! Oteller sadece müşterine yemek hizmeti verebilecek

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Son dakika: İçişleri Bakanlığı 81 il valiliğine “Konaklama Tesislerindeki Restoranlar” konulu genelge gönderdi. Genelgeye göre, otel ve konaklama tesislerindeki lokanta veya restoranlar sadece konaklama yapan müşterilerine yemek hizmeti verebilecek. Ayrıca bu işletmeler saat 22.00’den sonra müzik yayını yapamayacak.

İçişleri Bakanlığı, denetimler ve ihbarlar üzerine otel ve konaklama tesislerinin restoran ile lokantalarına yönelik valiliklere genelge gönderdi.

SADECE KONAKLAMA YAPAN MÜŞTERİLERE HİZMET VERİLECEK

Genelgeye göre, otel ve konaklama tesislerindeki lokanta veya restoranlar sadece konaklama yapan müşterilere yemek hizmeti verebilecek.

OTELLERDEKİ RESTORANLAR PAKET SERVİS YAPAMAYACAK

Otel ve konaklama tesislerindeki lokanta veya restoranlar dışarıya paket servisi yoluyla satış yapamayacak.

22’DEN SONRA MÜZİK YAYINI YAPILAMAYACAK

Otel ve konaklama tesislerinde bulunan restoran, lokanta ve diğer salonlarında saat 22.00’den sonra her türlü müzik yayını yapılamayacak.

Bu doğrultuda;

1. Yeme-içme yerleri için getirilen kısıtlamalardan istisna tutulan otel ve konaklama tesislerindeki lokanta veya restoranlar sadece konaklama yapan müşterilerine yönelik yemek hizmeti verebilecek.

2. Otel ve konaklama tesislerindeki lokanta veya restoranların dışarıya paket servisi yoluyla satış yapmalarına müsaade edilmeyecek.

3. Bu yerlere yönelik denetim faaliyetleri yoğunlaştırılacak ve etkinliği artırılacak.

4. Kolluk kuvvetlerince yapılan denetimlerde, otel ve konaklama tesislerindeki lokanta veya restoranlarda bulunan müşterilerin Kimlik Bildirme Kanunu çerçevesinde bildirimde bulunulan kişiler arasında olup olmadığının muhakkak kontrol edilecek.

5. Kimlik Bildirme Kanunu çerçevesinde yapılan bildirimlerle otel ve konaklama tesislerinin kendi kayıtları arasında tutarsızlık olup olmadığının denetlenecek.

6. Otel ve konaklama tesislerinde bulunan restoran, lokanta ve diğer salonlarında saat 22.00’den sonra müzik yayınına (canlı müzik, kayıt dinletilmesi vb. her türlü yayın dahil) hiçbir şartta yapılamayacak.

Vali ve kaymakamlarca yukarıda belirtilen esaslar doğrultusunda Umumi Hıfzıssıhha Kanununun 27’nci ve 72’nci maddeleri uyarınca İl/İlçe Umumi Hıfzıssıhha Kurulları kararlarının ivedilikle alınması ve uygulamada herhangi bir aksaklığa meydan verilmeyecek.

İDARİ İŞLEM TESİS EDİLECEK

Belirlenen esaslara aykırı uygulama yaptığı veya eğlence yeri şeklinde faaliyetlerde bulunduğu tespit edilen otel ve konaklama tesislerine Umumi Hıfzıssıhha Kanununun ve Turizmi Teşvik Kanununun ilgili maddeleri gereğince idari işlem tesis edilecek.

ADLİ İŞLEM BAŞLATILACAK

Konusu suç teşkil eden davranışlara ilişkin Türk Ceza Kanununun 195’inci maddesi kapsamında gerekli adli işlemler başlatılacak.

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Egypt victim rights centre files appeal

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An Egyptian center that can help alleged torture sufferers and documents their cases has vowed to carry on to operate despite a purchase for this to seal lower

Authorities had because of the Nadeem Center until Monday to cease activities saying it had breached rules

The audience has filed a sudden appeal from the decision

Privileges groups have criticised Egypt because of its attack on dissent among an outburst of reported torture of detainees Authorities deny the accusations

El Nadeem Center for Rehab of Sufferers of Violence has operated since 1993 supplying support and guidance to sufferers of torture

The organisation was because of be closed last Wednesday charged with breaking unspecified health ministry rules But government bodies decided to delay an order allow it time for you to contest the choice

Aida Seif alDawla the particular groups director stated the proceed to close it had been political

Human privileges groups have criticised the measure saying it comes down at any given time when enforced disappearances are rising and among growing worry about accusations of torture through the police and intelligence services

Activists accuse security forces of torturing detainees as well as detaining suspected activists or militant Islamists without confirming their busts accusations declined through the government

Egyptian Leader Abdul Fattah alSisi brought the militarys overthrow of Islamist Leader Mohammed Morsi in 2013 following mass protests

Since that time as much as 40000 individuals are believed to possess been detained The USbased Human Privileges Watch describes the attack as ferocious

Greater than 1000 protesters mostly Islamists happen to be wiped out around the roads

Egyptian authorities deny the Arab mobile phone industry’s most populous nation has came back towards the repression of history

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Extinct plant discovered in amber

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Biologists have referred to a brand new types of extinct plant according to two fossil flowers which were held in portions of amber not less than 15 million years

Strychnos electri goes towards the genus whose tropical bushes trees and vines are renowned for creating the deadly contaminant strychnine

The United States scientists referred to it as following the Greek word for amber (elektron) – the fossilised resin of lengthy-dead trees

Their discovery seems within the journal Character Plants

The 2 flowers were among 500 fossils collected on the 1986 area visit to Professor George Poinar of Or Condition College

Prof Poinar is really a famous entomologist and many of these individuals were bugs But after nearly 3 decades focusing on the bugs his eye chosen the flowers

These were remarkably complete – unlike most plant fossils present in amber that are usually just fragments

In 2015 he sent high-resolution photos to Professor Lena Struwe at Rutgers College

Most likely poisonous

These flowers appeared as if they’d just fallen from the tree stated Prof Poinar I figured they could be Strychnos and that i sent these to Lena since i understood she was a specialist for the reason that genus

Prof Struwe go about evaluating the physique from the flowers to any or all 200 known Strychnos species brushing the collections of multiple museums and herbaria

The figures mostly accustomed to identify types of Strychnos are flower morphology and thats what we should fortunately have with this fossil stated Prof Struwe

I checked out each specimen of ” New World ” species captured pics of and measured it and in comparison it towards the photo George sent me I requested myself How can the fur around the flower petals look? Where would be the fur situated? and so forth

For that creatures from the late cretaceous S electri was most likely not so good eating

Types of the genus Strychnos are nearly all toxic in some manner stated Prof Poinar

Each plant features its own alkaloids with different effects Many are more toxic than the others also it might be that they are effective as their poisons offered some defence against herbivores

The favourite such alkaloid strychnine is really a contaminant that when created the foundation of numerous rat poisons – in addition to being certainly one of Norman Batess murder weapons within the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho

However these plants also fall inside the asterid family including greater than 80000 flowering plants including most of the ones humans eat from taters and mint to sunflowers and coffees

The brand new discovery is an important accessory for the fossil record of the family that is very poorly understood

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