An Ayr second hand trader has had a bid to get an exemption for a rule put in place to tackle the trade of stolen goods dismissed.

CEX, located in Ayr High Street and known for sales of video games, console and other electronic goods, asked South Ayrshire Council’s licensing panel to waive the rule that prevents certain goods being sold for 48 hours after they buy them.

These goods are jewellery, antiques, sports goods, musical instruments, cameras and camera equipment, mobile phones and electrical goods.

Ian McColl from Police Scotland told the panel: “We stand by this requirement that should be a routine for any second hand dealer.

“I fully appreciate that there is an option here for a local authority to have this reviewed and then take a course of action.

“However, we are very much victim-centred when it comes to the detection of crime.

“The removal of such a restriction allows for the quick trade of stolen property in my eyes and, being victim centred, looking after both those who work and live in South Ayrshire, I firmly believe that this should remain.”

Connor Hill, representing CEX, outlined his case for removing the regulation.

He said: “The condition adds strain on our staff to ensure compliance and the flexibility of us to do business, by preventing sales both online and in our stores.

“It causes backlogs and issues with space which, at times, have led to safety issues, and it causes issues with customers that have become irate with our staff members.

“I fully understand the reasons that Police Scotland have put forward. The age of the legislation has realistically allowed us to move forward on more secure safeguards that fulfil the same necessity.

“We use digital systems that check against serial numbers against police reports for stolen items in real time. This then allows us to be notified before purchase if an item must be marked as lost or stolen.

“This dramatically reduces the amount of these items being taken in. If the item is marked as lost or stolen is shared with both us and well as with the police.

“We digitally upload all of the items bought by our stores through the police national computer through one of our software providers. This is done every 24 hours.

“We capture and retain all of our customers’ details digitally and share with the police at any point of request.

“This has led us believe that these safeguards are much more stringent and put less pressure on us and provide the police with better information.”

Mr Hill said that, since January 2020, the Ayr store had purchased 101,000 items.

He continued: “In that time there have been four seizures, none of these seizures have come within the time limit, so we feel that the safeguards that we have in place provide a higher standard than the safeguards in the legislation.”

Councillors agreed with the recommendation of Police Scotland and refused Mr Hill's application.