CABLING was stolen from a mine near near Blaenavon last week.

Thieves cut the padlock from the entrance gate of Ffynnon Duon Mine in Forgeside to steal cables used for the mines electricity supply. The cables are estimated to cost between £6000 and £8000.

Mine Manager Malcolm Rowe explained, 'The value of the cables may seem high but thieves are risking their lives. Oxygen levels in the mines drop to dangerously low levels due to the lack of ventilation. Someone could easily have been killed.'

Recent record prices for metal have been blamed for the surge in thefts with criminals targeting everything from garden equipment, bikes, roofing and even railway cables.

PC Andy Cleaton, Pontypool Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer added, 'Metal thefts are an on going problem throughout Gwent and we'll continue working with other agencies to tackle this crime.'

Anyone with any information on metal thefts is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.