Havering grate thefts ‘risking lives’

Thieves are risking people’s lives by stealing metal drainage grates.

In the past week, 30 grates have been stolen and the council said the thefts cause a risk to lives and could hurt motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

It will cost �150 for each new grate plus fitting costs, but hinge-style grates will be more difficult to remove.

The holes left after the thefts are up to 2ft across.

The council believes thieves are stealing the grates at night and lifting them into vehicles. They are likely to be sold for scrap metal which has increased in value.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity should call police and note down vehicles’ registration numbers.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for streetcare, said: “Not only is there a cost issue to the local taxpayer, but it won’t be long before someone is seriously hurt or killed.

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“Stealing these grates from the highway is extremely dangerous.

“It beggars belief that some people are risking people’s lives for a few hundred pounds.

“We are urging residents to keep their eyes peeled and inform police if they see anything suspicious.”