Wolverhampton’s Great Drain Robbery!

We have a problem in this City of Wolverhampton and also here in Wednesfield North. There is a bunch of crooks on the rampage, stealing drain and gulley covers. At a cost £63,000 in replacement costs city wide. Rampaging drain robbers are the cause of 260 reported incidents of drain and gulley covers stolen.

These criminal gangs need stopping because they are putting people and property at risk as they raid this safety ironwork for their own greed.

In my mind this is also a Police matter, and I do not agree in a City Council policy that does not report these stolen items as a crime. I have spoken with Wednesfield Neighbourhood Police, and they inform me that they are visiting Scrap Yards and metal reclamation sites. I am pleased about that.

I got interested in this issue when it seemed that residents here in Wednesfield North were reporting these crimes to me with depressing regularity. There have been 21 individual reports of incidents here in Wednesfield North during 2020-2021-2022 , and 27 items of ironwork have been lifted. That is a £6,300 replacement cost to the Counciltax payer in my Ward alone.

Sadly, tonight as I type this information for my blog, a resident reported to me yet another drain stolen in Kitchen Lane! Here in Wednesfield North that means in the last 28 days in my Ward alone- Drain crime that I know of is 6 drains lost in 28 days!

I asked if there is another substance that can be used as a drain that would be less valuable and less costly to be replaced.

City Council informed me “whilst there is a desire to find alternative materials, the market is dominated by cast iron products.”

So the Great Drain Robbery will continue until the Police are able to act and arrest the drain robbers. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more