Drain cover theft costs Newport £45,000

3:50pm Wednesday 22nd September 2010

MORE needs to be done to tackle the theft of drain covers in Newport, which one councillors claims has cost the authority £45,000 since April.

Speaking at yesterday's council meeting Lliswerry councillor Ken Critchley said more than 180 metal covers had been stolen since April which he said was a “significant haemorrhage to an already strained budget”.

He asked Newport Superintendent Julian Knight what was being done to tackle the problem.

Supt Knight said officers were fully aware of the problem but said the issue was not unique to Newport or Gwent and was relevant to the price of metal.

He said a police initiative called Operation Steel was set up to tackle the problem and officers were working with transport agencies and scrap metal firms, checking their records and CCTV to try and track potential offenders.

Mr Knight said despite the high level of thefts police had not recovered a single drain cover and the force therefore suspected they were being taken out of the area to be sold.

In July, the Argus reported how 62 drain covers had been stolen in Newport within two weeks by thieves believed to be posing as workmen and earlier this month 96 were taken in Duffryn over two days.

Anyone with any information can contact them on 01633 83811 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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