A 2012 survey showed that 7 out of 10 councils had been victims of metal theft costing them over £5.24 million in 2010/11.
The most high profile theft in Brighton was in 2007 when the bronze statue of Olympic champion Steve Ovett was stolen from Preston Park.
Cllr Stephanie Powell, chair of the Licensing Committee said: “Scrap metal theft is a growing problem for councils and the effects can be extremely serious, particularly when roofs and highways are affected.
Every scrap metal dealer will be required to have a licence and operating without one will become a criminal offence. Councils will have the power to vary, refuse, or revoke an existing licence.
Reports included lead being stolen from roofs, exhausts being taken from cars and brass door fittings removed from homes.