Metal Thefts in Cardiff Compromise Safety
A spate of 76 thefts of drain covers has taken place in Cardiff in January, with a predicted cost to the taxpayer of £20,000
The thefts have taken place in wards across the city including Cyncoed; Rumney; Llanishen; Penylan; Roath; Pontprennau; Thornhill; Fairwater; St Mellons and Radyr.
With the scrap metal value of cast iron between £100 and £160 a ton, and each grid weighing in at 45 kilos, the maximum the thieves have made from these thefts is £340.
When the grates are stolen, the council has to make the area safe, undertake remedial work and replace the stolen items with new lockable grids, this also disrupts scheduled council work.
Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport is asking the public to be vigilant, "There are two issues here. Firstly in terms of safety, the thefts are leaving large holes in the ground which is dangerous to both drivers and pedestrians. Secondly, the matter of cost to the taxpayer and the staff resources that have to be put in place to carry out the work.
"If anyone sees anyone removing these grids, please report it to the Police. Even if they are wearing high visibility jackets and look like they are carrying out official business, do not approach them, but take the details of the location, the registration of the vehicle they are using and a brief description of those offending and report it to 101."
Scrap metal dealers are required by law to follow the correct procedure when buying or selling scrap. It is illegal to buy or sell scrap for cash and payment has to be made via an electronic transfer or cheque so there is an audit trail of the payments.
Those buying or selling scrap metal are required to have a licence from the local authority to operate and to keep records of the description of goods that are being bought or sold.
If you witness suspicious activity of this nature please report it to South Wales Police by calling 101.