Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Thursday, 8 April 2010 15:44 UK

West Sussex drain cover thefts 'threaten lives'

Drain cover
Up to 35 manhole covers have gone missing in a week

Thieves who have been stealing manhole covers are putting lives at risk, a local authority has warned.

West Sussex County Council said more than 35 metal covers have gone missing in the past week, costing almost £9,000 to replace.

It is believed the manhole covers have been sold for their scrap metal value.

Cllr Derek Whittington, the cabinet member for transport, said the thefts threaten the lives of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

He said: "Highways staff have been quick to put temporary barriers or cones around the exposed drains until they can get a new cover.

"But they can only do that when they are reported to us and some drains could have been left exposed for several days."

The thefts have happened in Chichester, Bognor Regis and Littlehampton.



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