More than 200 metal drain covers have been stolen in North Lanarkshire in the last three weeks – creating a hazard for pedestrians and cars.
Two men have been apprehended in the Wishaw area in connection with these thefts but the crimes leave the area’s local authority with a lot of work to do to protect citizens and replace the missing manhole covers.
“Removing the cover leaves a substantial hole at the kerbside which could injure pedestrians or damage car wheels,” explained Graham MacKay, head of Roads and Transportation.
“I am in discussions with Police Scotland about the problem, and to minimise this risk until the cover is replaced, we place sandbags and traffic cones at the drain.”
“Criminals target the drain covers to sell for scrap, but these thefts leave behind a catalogue of problems for residents and the council,” said Councillor James Coyle, Convener of the Planning and Transportation Committee.
“This is not only dangerous but costs a significant amount of money – at least £50,000 – which would be better spent on local services and facilities.”
The council is appealing to residents to report any missing drain covers, to allow them to be made them safe as quickly as possible. If you have anything to report call Northline on 01698 403110 – or anyone seen removing a cover or acting suspiciously – call Police Scotland on 101.