Lancashire County Council is asking people to be vigilant after a number of metal drain grates have been stolen across Burnley and Padiham.
The cast iron grates have mainly gone missing from quiet back streets, with highways officers suspecting they have been removed at night and sold for their scrap value.
“Our main concern is the danger that a pedestrian or cyclist could severely injure themselves due to a missing grate," said County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport. “We’ve received almost 50 reports over the last week or so about missing grates, and our concern is there may be more which have been stolen which people have not yet noticed, or not reported.
“Some of them were in back streets where people might not often go very often, and we’re concerned that someone might not see that the grate is missing until it’s too late if they’re putting their bins out at night," Coun Iddon added. “There’s also the cost to Lancashire tax payers of replacing these drain grates. It’s particularly frustrating as their scrap value is likely to be negligible compared with the cost to the county council of buying and fitting replacements.
“I’d ask people to be aware of this issue, report any missing grates they see, and call the police immediately if they see any suspicious activity.”
People can report a missing grate or other highway problem by calling 0300 123 6780.
Locations where grates have been stolen include:
Padiham – Whitegate Close, Brunshaw Avenue.
Burnley - Glen View Road, Magpie Close, Brownhill Avenue, Norfolk Avenue.
Clitheroe – Highfield Road, Chatburn Avenue, Back Talbot Close, Shays Drive, Whitewell Drive, Riverside, Back Bolland Prospect, Hereford Drive.