Residents have been urged to be on their guard as close to 80 gully grates have been stolen from Nottingham’s roads.

The grates act as covers for rainwater drains which run deep underground and the City Council is concerned about the danger to cyclists and pedestrians, plus the potential for damage to vehicles.

Officers believe that they are being stolen to be sold as scrap metal.

The Council is keeping a close eye on the situation and has been replacing the stolen grates with anti-theft, hinged replacements or recycled plastic versions where appropriate.

This has already cost the authority more than £17,500 and is causing wider delays to other road maintenance projects across Nottingham.

Councillor Angela Kandola, Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Planning at Nottingham City Council, said: “These thieves are putting people at risk as well as causing extra expense for taxpayer.

“We make every effort to replace the grates as soon as it is brought to our attention, but with so many being stolen, it’s very difficult to do the work as quickly as we would like.

“We would ask the public to be observant and report any incidents immediately to the police.”