Manhole Cover Thefts put People at RiskSeptember 1, 2010
The theft of manhole covers is on the increase throughout the UK. The increase in the number of thefts has been blamed on the rise in the price of mixed scrap metal which is expected to reach £220 per ton, almost twice the price it fetched five years ago, causing metal theft to become the fastest-growing crime in the UK and costing industry an estimated £360 million a year.
Drainage covers are being prized up and cashed in for their scrap value and as a result the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and even motorists are put at risk.
Paul Bettison of the Local Government Association’s Environment Board said “…..this criminal act is not only selfish but it could lead to serious accidents…….Councils are working hard to replace covers, ensure safety and avoid blocked drains”. With each manhole cover costing a local authority £300, councils are trying to discourage the thefts by replacing the manhole covers with ductile steel covers which have no scrap value.
Every year people suffer accidents in accidents caused by broken or missing manhole covers and these thefts are just adding to the problem.