Cost of stolen drain covers revealed by Shropshire Council

Drain cover - generic image
Image caption Thieves were looking for "easy pickings", the council said

Replacing stolen metal drain covers has cost Shropshire Council up to £50,000 over the past year, it has estimated.

The authority said it thought between 200 and 250 covers had been taken, with an estimated average replacement cost of about £200 for each cover.

The council said the number of yearly thefts was up from 100-150.

It said it hoped that new hinged covers bedded into the concrete would make them more difficult targets and deter thieves.

Councillor Simon Jones, cabinet member with responsibility for transport, said: "Over the last year or so when we've actually had to replace a manhole cover... we're actually replacing them with hinged covers.

"The frames are bedded into the concrete and the covers are actually hinged on to [them], so they can't actually be taken easily."

He said the design required a "more concerted effort" from thieves.

"If you're having to break a hinge, [you're] more likely to be seen doing it, so hopefully the thieves will then move on to something else.

"They're looking for easy pickings rather than a difficult situation like that."

Mr Jones appealed for people to contact the authority if they see an open drain or somebody taking a cover.

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