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Is street going down the drain?

PUBLISHED: 10:51 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:03 11 August 2010

FAMILIES are baffled by the behaviour of petty thieves who stole drain covers from their quiet cul-de-sac leaving gaping holes in the road. Neighbours in Gurney Close, Barking, believe the vandals struck on Saturday June 14 because they woke on Sunday mor

FAMILIES are baffled by the behaviour of petty thieves who stole drain covers from their quiet cul-de-sac leaving gaping holes in the road.

Neighbours in Gurney Close, Barking, believe the vandals struck on Saturday June 14 because they woke on Sunday morning to find the grates gone.

Metal storm grates contain a lot of steel and residents think they were taken and sold as scrap metal.

After noticing the dangerous problem Jackie Stevens called the council on Sunday afternoon and workmen arrived on Monday morning.

They blocked the drains with concrete paving slabs and placed traffic cones in the road to warn cars.

But families are concerned that this temporary fix will not stop accidents happening and want the drains replaced immediately.

Mum of two, Jackie Stevens, said: "This is a quiet street which is probably why we were targeted - they knew nobody would be up late at night.

"All the kids play out around here because it's supposed to be safe but now we are all so worried.

"One of them could fall down a hole or a car could be coming to fast and swerve to avoid the paving slabs the council have put in the road - I dread to think what might happen.

"I'm a childminder, I have other peoples' children to think about and it's just not safe out there."

Jackie's neighbour, mum of two, Tracey Hobden, said: "I was backing my car out of the driveway on Sunday to take my daughter to dance classes when I saw the hole.

"It was a good job I did see it because it's right opposite my driveway and I could have had the car stuck in it and wrecked the axles.

"We get problems like this because our street is so quiet. Lead was stolen from the roofs of the flats across the way.

"And we have fly-tippers coming around all the time dumping mattresses and rubbish.

"When I called the council they told me it would take two working days just to come and look at the problem.Meanwhile our street is an accident waiting to happen."

A council spokesman said: "This is a problem affecting a number of boroughs in London.

"It is the council's intention to see that this kind of criminality does not affect residents' safety.

"The council is aware of the problem and will be making every effort to assure residents that where criminal activity is taking place the situation will be rectified as soon as possible.

"The safety of residents is paramount and we would urge anyone to inform the council if they notice any missing drain or manhole covers.


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