Firm may relocate after near tragedy at hands of thieves

A RECYCLING firm in Barnsley is considering relocating after a member of staff was run over by a Transit van as he tried to stop thieves making off with scrap metal.

The 59-year-old, whose son owns the business, was working at SR Recycling in Oakwell Business Centre when the incident took place shortly after 1pm on Thursday.

He suffered multiple injuries, including broken ribs and cuts to his face, while trying to close the gates to prevent the thieves leaving the business park and is expected to be off work for at least six weeks.

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Three men were later arrested by South Yorkshire Police in relation to the incident.

Director of SR Recycling Simon Robinson said the company and sister firm SR Networks were now considering moving elsewhere owing to a spate of thefts which has seen Oakwell Business Centre "targeted by criminals who drive onto the business park on a daily basis".

He said: "The incident occurred when the three men were seen loading scrap waste belonging to SR Recycling into their own van.

"When they were approached by members of staff from SR Recycling they offloaded the material in the belief they would be free to go.

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"When they realised they were not, they tried to make their getaway, which is when the 59-year-old man was hit by the van."

Mr Robinson added: "We have been telling Barnsley Council that we were at risk on this site for years, but we never realised it would come to this.

"It's like we have had to go back to basics and physically defend ourselves and our property on a daily basis."

Last week's incident follows a similar theft in June, when men drove a van onto the business park and loaded it up with a ton of scrap steel from a skip outside the SR Recycling offices.

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Mr Robinson said: "We are faced with this problem all the time. We run a legitimate business recycling waste from businesses and organisations but it seems these criminals believe they can simply pull up and drive away with our property.

"It's bad enough that they are hitting the profitability of our businesses but when it comes to people nearly being killed someone needs to do something and it needs to be fast.

"We are now actively looking to find a secure site where we do not risk losing our property or having someone killed by criminals."

SR Recycling specialises in recycling electronic waste such as flat screen televisions, computers, telephones and office machinery.

It is one of about 40 small companies operating from the Oakwell Business Centre, which is run by Barnsley Council.