Thefts of metal cause grate danger on roads
�Metal thieves are increasingly putting residents’ lives in danger by stealing grates from Havering’s roads.
A total of 115 gully grates were lifted from across the borough in an massive six-day crime spree, between June 12 and 16.
Since the beginning of May, nearly 150 grates have been pilfered.
The damage will cost taxpayers �60,000.
The holes left by missing grates could cause a motorcyclist to be thrown from their bike or pedestrians to trip over.
Havering Council is urging residents to keep an eye out for the thieves, who mainly strike at night but sometimes also operate in broad daylight
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Anyone who sees or hears suspicious activity should report it to the police and note down the registration number of any vehicle that appears to be involved.
Legitimate work is carried out by council workers who use vehicles that are clearly marked with the local authority’s logo, a council spokesman pointed out.
Thieves have also stolen nine council-owned metal waste bins and a metal bench, as scrap continues to soar in value.
To counter the problem of thefts, the council is installing new hinge-style grates which are more difficult to remove.
It has also started trialling new non-metal grates which have no resale value.
Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for environment, said: “Not only is there a huge cost to the local taxpayer but it won’t be long before someone is seriously hurt or killed.
“As a community, we must help the police and act as extra eyes and ears in our neighbourhoods to catch the people responsible.”