Scrap thieves put people in danger

POLICE are appealing for the public’s help to trace people who have put others in danger by stealing manhole covers in Northumberland.

Over recent weeks a number of manhole covers have been stolen from central and south east areas of the county.

Officers and council officials are warning offenders that this sort of activity, which leaves open holes in the ground, is a risk to pedestrians and motorists.

Northumberland Area Command Superintendent, Allan Brown, said: “It’s dangerous and irresponsible as it’s easy enough for pedestrians to fall into the holes and badly injure themselves.

“If a motorist was to drive over one of the uncovered holes then it could cause an accident and injure a number of people.

“The offenders should think before they commit a crime like this. They could be putting people in danger for the sake of a bit of scrap metal, even their own family and friends – it’s just not worth it.”

Police in Northumberland are currently running Operation Coin aimed at targeting metal thefts in the county.

More than 1,300 vehicles have been stopped and checked as part of the operation since its launch in November.

Coun Alan Armstrong, Executive Member for Highways and Transport, said: “It is certainly disappointing that resources are having to be used to manage the actions of these individuals and we would urge anyone who has any information or sees anyone acting suspiciously around manhole covers to contact the police or the county council.”

To report a crime, or to pass on any information about these thefts to police, telephone 03456 043043 – extension 69191.