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Gully grid thefts are costing tax payers thousands

125 gully grids have been stolen in the city since the middle of July.

The thefts have taken place in Llanedeyrn; Whitchurch; Ely; Pentrebane; Pentwyn; Fairwater and most recently in Radyr and Rhiwbina.

The cost to the taxpayer to make safe and replace the grids has now reached in the region of £43,000. The grids that have been stolen are being replaced with new frames and the grids cannot be lifted out.

The public is being asked to be on the lookout in their communities and report any suspicious behaviour to 101, giving a description of the people carrying out the thefts and the vehicle registration details of the vehicle they are driving.

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Working with the South Wales Police, licensing and trading standards officers will now be targeting scrap metal dealers to check whether these businesses are complying with their license conditions.

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.

Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member of Strategic Planning and Transport, said:

“These thefts have to stop. To put this issue into perspective, we have had 30 stolen in the last week. Not only is it costing a significant amount of money to replace these grids, when they are stolen, it leaves a large hole by the side of the road which is extremely dangerous to both drivers and pedestrians.”

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member with Clean Streets, Environment and Recycling, who is responsible for Trading Standards in Cardiff said:

“Our message to the trade is simple, if there wasn’t a market for these grids, they would not be stolen in the first place. So when we visit the scrap metal dealers to check their records, which we will be doing, we hope to find everything in order or we will be taking appropriate action.”

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