Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 19:53 UK

Thieves steal Brighton's ornamental street lamps

Street lamp
More than 60 lanterns have been removed from their columns

More than 60 ornamental street lamps have been stolen in a week from across Brighton and Hove.

The city council's highway services manager Jeff Elliott said thefts were leaving live wiring exposed and whole areas of the city in darkness.

It is thought the lanterns are being sold on or broken up for scrap.

The council's street lighting contractor has been disconnecting electricity on columns which have had their lanterns removed.

'Electrocution risk'

Mr Elliott said: "The thieves must be using a cherry picker type of vehicle to get at the lanterns, so should be easy to spot.

"They are also risking being electrocuted as the wiring is all live."

Police and council officers were patrolling the areas in a bit to catch the thieves red-handed, he added.

The only vehicles that should be accessing the street lamps belong to the contractor Colas, which uses bright yellow and red marked vehicles carrying the council's logo, he said.

Anyone with information or who has seen anything suspicious should contact Sussex Police.

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