Shoppers, traders and pub landlords are being asked to keep a lookout after security bollards were tampered with in Spalding town centre.
Padlocks holding the bollards in place outside The Red Lion Pub in Market Place were cut, possibly with a pair of bolt cutters, although it is unclear when it happened.
The bollards have got padlocks on to keep them in place, but someone has gone along and cut off every padlock – seemingly with a pair of bolt cutters – before getting ready to steal them.Coun Roger Gambba-Jones
It is thought the padlocks were cut in an attempt to steal the bollards, made out of cast metal, before selling them on for their scrap metal value.
Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, portfolio holder for open places at South Holland District Council, said: “The bollards are in place to help make the area suitable for staging events and to lay out the market stalls.
“They have been here for about nine months, replacing fixed bollards after county highways officers advised us that they needed to be moved further back in Market Place.
“The bollards have got padlocks on to keep them in place, but someone has gone along and cut off every padlock – seemingly with a pair of bolt cutters – before getting ready to steal them.”
Security bollards formed part of a £120,000 upgrade of Spalding town centre in 2011 as part of the opening of the new Red Lion Quarter.
Other work included a new road, pavement, ramp and block paving.
Coun Gambba-Jones said: “The bollards are 60lbs of cast metal and whoever cut the padlocks may have been after them for their scrap value.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen anything like this happening here and I’ve asked our environmental services team to look at securing the bollards, as well as getting in touch with the CCTV centre in Boston to get an extra view of the street.
“I’ve also asked the owner of the Red Lion (Hotel) pub to keep an eye on the bollards in case something happens again.”
Lincolnshire Police launched Operation Brompton in 2011 to tackle all metal thefts in the county after figures suggested the crime was costing the UK economy between £60 million and £220 million a year.
The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 makes it an offence to buy and sell scrap metal for cash and requires scrap metal dealers to keep a record of sellers’ names and addresses.
Anyone with information should call 101 or South Holland District Council environmental services on 01775 761161.