Drain cover thefts in 2023 cost Walsall £47k

Walsall Council Highways Officers are reporting a total of 161 stolen drain covers worth £47,000 across the borough in 2023 so far this year.

Since 2018, there has been a total of 1002 thefts which has cost the public purse £261,750.

These thefts not only cost the Council money and resources, but they also pose a dangerous and serious risk to drivers and pedestrians.

The thefts create a potentially fatal void that can be one metre or more deep. Councillor Mike Bird, Leader of Walsall Council said:

"That’s a vast sum of public money which we would rather spend on building more projects within the community and caring for the needs of our most vulnerable citizens and children.

“It’s frustrating to see so much resource spent on making repairs after criminals have left our highways in a hazardous state.

“I urge residents who witness this criminal activity in progress not to intervene for their own safety, but to report any information to the West Midlands Police as we will not hesitate to prosecute scrap metal dealers that accept our stolen property.” 

Thieves are currently targeting the Aldridge, Pelsall and Blakenall areas. Highway Safety Inspectors are actively patrolling these areas to look for thefts, but the general public can also help by reporting any suspicious activity.

To assist law enforcement in finding and dealing with the criminals engaging in this activity, metal recyclers are urged to exercise caution and report any attempts to sell the covers to the police.

Any incidents can be reported online as a Highways Defect at go.walsall.gov.uk/report.


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