A FRUSTRATED manufacturing company that has been in Stourport for 45 years could be forced to move out of the area with the loss of nearly 100 jobs because of repeated metal thefts.

Conveyor Units, a conveyor manufacturer on Sandy Lane Industrial Estate which employs 90 people, is considering throwing in the towel and relocating.

Paul Roberts, works manager, said employees felt “helpless” as a result of the increase in thefts from the site due to the rising price of scrap metal.

He added: “The owner is considering pulling out of Stourport. He is considering closing the site and taking the business elsewhere.”

Mr Roberts added he was angry with the police who, he said, last week failed to act when the company reported a metal theft and some of the stolen material could be clearly seen on nearby land.

He said the firm’s staff had to watch as two hours later thieves loaded the metal on to a truck and drove away unchallenged despite police being called again to let them know what was happening.

Mr Roberts explained it was no longer possible to make a 999 call direct to the local policing department and claimed the need for urgent action became lost as messages were passed on.

He said: “We feel exhausted and helpless. It is ridiculous. The company really feels let down.There is obviously a problem with policing in the area.

“We are paying a serious amount of rates for the support of the police and we are not getting it. It looks like Aushwitz here at the moment with what we are trying to do to keep perpetrators out.”

Police confirmed that a quantity of tubular steel, believed to be scrap, was stolen last Thursday from the Stourport company.

Insp Paul Crowley, of Kidderminster police, said officers were informed at about 7.30am that day that metal stolen from the site had been placed on waste ground next to the factory’s perimeter fencing.

He added that after coming on duty, a forensic officer advised the factory owner to recover the metal and take it back on to his premises.

Insp Crowley explained: “We then received a report just before 9.45am to say that three young men were loading the metal on to a white truck.

“Our officers were immediately deployed to the incident and searched the area before seeing the factory owner about half-an-hour later.

“However, the truck was not located and our inquiries into the theft of the metal are ongoing.”

Witnesses or anyone with information about the theft are urged to contact police on 08457 444888 or ring Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111.