Drain on resources’

THIEVES who stole more than 60 manhole covers from across Cambridgeshire overnight on Thursday are in for a shock when they realise their scrap value is worthless. However, although the manhole covers are only worth a few pounds each for scrap, it will c

THIEVES who stole more than 60 manhole covers from across Cambridgeshire overnight on Thursday are in for a shock when they realise their scrap value is worthless.

However, although the manhole covers are only worth a few pounds each for scrap, it will cost Cambridgeshire County Council more than £6,000 to replace them.

Cambridgeshire Police, Cambridgeshire County Council and Anglia Water are now working together to investigate the incident that saw manhole covers stolen from Somersham Road Industrial Estate in St Ives, School Road in Warboys and various locations across Chatteris.

Richard Kingston, divisional maintenance engineer for Cambridgeshire County Council told The Hunts Post: "I don't think the people who stole the manhole covers actually realise that there scrap value is minimal. I don't think they knew what they were actually doing."

Glenn Thwaites, press officer for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "The manhole covers will cost us just over £100 each to replace but they are only worth a few pounds each for scrap because they are made of ductile steel."

The county's more valuable cast iron manhole covers were replaced with ductile steel and captive hinge lids this time last year when 150 manhole covers and drainage covers worth £10,000 were stolen over a four month period across the county.

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Mr Kingston said: "Over 60 manhole covers have been stolen and of those, five were stolen from School Road in Warboys. Replacing these manhole covers will be an enormous drain on our resources. Our first priority is to make them safe to the public and we are currently in the process of doing that. Some we are coning off, some we are covering with plates and some are being filled with bags of sand.

"We can't get all the manhole covers replaced staightaway as we only have a small supply. These thieves are causing danger to the public. We hope to have all the manhole covers replaced by the end of next week."

A police spokesperson said: "We have received several reports of manhole covers being stolen in the St Ives and Warboys area. We are investigating these incident and would appeal to anyone who has any information relating to these incidents to contact police."

INFORMATION: Anyone with information should contact Cambridgeshire Police on 0845 4564564, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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