76 gully grid thefts in January alone

A further spate of thefts have taken place this month, after a public appeal last year temporarily stopped the thieves' illegal activity.

Since January 8th, 76 gully thefts have been reported and replaced at a predicted cost to the tax payer of £20,000

The thefts have taken place in wards across the city including Cyncoed; Rumney; Llanishen; Penylan; Roath; Pontprennau; Thornhill; Fairwater; St Mellons and Radyr.

With the scrap metal value of cast iron between £100 and £160 a ton, and each grid weighing in at 45 Kilos, the maximum the thieves have made from these thefts is £340.

When the grates are stolen, the council has to make the area safe, break out the grates and replace with a new grate with lockable grids and scheduled work for staff has had to be put on hold, for these works to take place.

Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport is asking the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the South Wales Police through 101.

Councilor Wild said: "There are two issues here. Firstly in terms of safety, the thefts are leaving large holes in the ground which is dangerous to both drivers and pedestrians. Secondly, the matter of cost to the tax payer and the staff resources that have to be put in place to carry out the work.

"If anyone sees anyone removing these grids, please report it to the Police. Even if they are wearing high visibility jackets and look like they are carrying out official business, do not approach them, but take the details of the location, the registration of the vehicle they are using and a brief description of those offending and report it to 101."

Scrap metal dealers are required by law to follow the correct procedure when buying or selling scrap. It is illegal to buy or sell scrap for cash and payment has to be made via an electronic transfer or cheque so there is an audit trail of the payments that have been made.

Those buying or selling scrap metal are required to have a license from the local authority to operate and keep records of the description of goods that are being bought or sold.