Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Metal dealers take on the metal crooks

PUBLISHED: 09:57 10 October 2012

Martin Mogford, operations director at SWM, says his firm is embracing the new legislation to help the industry crack down on metal theft.

Martin Mogford, operations director at SWM, says his firm is embracing the new legislation to help the industry crack down on metal theft.

Archant

Scrap crime is a blight on society – and the industry – say traders.

OWNERS of one of the region’s largest independent waste and recycling firms say scrap metal theft is leaving the industry hundreds of thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Family-run SWM has suffered break-ins at all of its eight sites around the South West, including in South Molton, Bideford and Barnstaple.

The firm has embraced a police campaign to disrupt criminal activity and says it welcomes new government legislation coming into force in December to outlaw the sale of scrap metal for cash.

SWM operations director Martin Mogford said Operation Tornado had made it tougher for thieves to turn stolen materials into cash and that the new cashless trading system would help to bring a new legitimacy to the business.

He said: “We applaud and embrace the new legislation; it won’t stop metal thefts but it will make it more difficult.

“The crime has become a blight on society – a stolen war memorial ended up being brought into our Plymouth depot.

“We are at the start of the food chain in terms of recycling and it’s important that things are done right and that they are sustainable.

“It has to be a properly regulated industry and people have to come to the party – the industry is too big and too important to the local economy.”

Mr Mogford said thefts were a major cost to the business in terms of sales revenues, business disruption, increased security arrangements and on-going surveillance.

“We lost a considerable amount of brass, copper and stripped cable from our South Molton depot at the end of September 2011,” he said

“The depot was broken into again two weeks later but we’d taken steps to enhance security and we caught the culprits on site.

“The only person out of pocket was ourselves though and that one theft cost the company in the region of £100,000.”

SWM, which employs 75 people and has an annual turn-over of around £21million, is one of many businesses that have been working closely with Police, British Transport Police and BT.

“People will have to get more sophisticated. It’s been all too easy for people to steel metal and all too easy to turn it into cash,” added Mr Mogford.

0 comments

Other News Stories

13:16

Tuesday night’s meeting in Barnstaple saw Dr Alison Diamond from Northern Devon Healthcare Trust quizzed about the health service review

Read more
17:13

Barnstaple Library will also be gaining new digital equipment and providing training and workshops on creative writing and digital content creation.

Read more
15:35

Aaron Eastman will attempt to earn the Expert Field Medical Badge at a competition in Germany

Read more
12:23

The Taw View Extra store has teamed up with Barnstaple Dementia Action Alliance and the town’s mayor to help become more dementia friendly.

Read more

MPs write a joint letter airing concerns over Sustainability and Transformation Plan while Torridge MP demands evidence over Holsworthy bed closures.

Read more
07:00

Search table: Enter the name of your Devon school and see how much the latest budget changes could affect it by

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07

Artists turn out for the first ever Sunday Art on the Quay event at Bideford

Read more
Yesterday, 14:45

There will be overnight closures on the A39 in Barnstaple between Roundswell and Lake roundabouts this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:20

The new 12-sided £1 coin will enter circulation today (Tuesday) - but what does this mean for North Devon’s parking machines?

Read more
Yesterday, 09:22

A North Devon songwriter is asking people to send in their photos showing what makes them stronger, for her brand new music video.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications