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Man Hole Covers At Risk As Scrap Prices Rise

As crazy as it may seem there are many councils throughout the UK reporting the theft of increasing numbers of manhole covers from the side of roads. Places such as Surrey have seen 268 covers stolen since April with 220 covers stolen in a four day binge in Warwickshire. So why the big increase? What is going on?

The big increase in the theft of these manhole covers is simply because of the rise in the price of mixed scrap metal per ton. The price is currently £190 a ton but this is expected to increase to £220 a ton next year - a doubling of the rate over the last five years. Yet again commodity prices and a lack of work and money in the economy are forcing many to take alternative action.

The problems for the councils are now two fold with missing manhole covers having to be replaced and the increased risk of serious injury and potential compensation claims. These are all elements which will need to come out of the public purse and increase the pressure yet more. There seems no end to innovation and lengths people will go to in search of ready cash in the current environment, even prepared to put others at risk as a consequence.

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