Gas pipe thefts endanger lives

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Criminals have been slammed for dicing with people’s lives after vital gas pipes were stolen.

A spate of thefts has happened in Bispham and Anchorsholme over the last 10 days.

Police have blasted those responsible for carrying out the lethal crimewave.

Officers have received nine reports of thieves cutting copper pipes from house walls, the majority of which connected gas meters to the properties.

Homes in Bispham on Hastings Avenue, Bangor Avenue, Red Bank Road, Fairfax Avenue, Blackpool Road, Moor Park Avenue, Bispham Road and two properties on Toronto Avenue were targeted between December 15 and 21.

A house on Sevenoaks Drive, Anchorsholme, was targeted in the early hours of December 16.

Bispham councillor Don Clapham said: “It’s just terrible.

“These are people who act without any conscience at all. It is terribly dangerous.

“It’s so selfish for the tiny bit of gain the danger they’re putting residents in.

“I just hope the police can catch them as soon as possible. Metal stealing is at such high levels at the moment and people will take anything they can get.”

An investigation is now under way to try and find those responsible for the thefts.

PC Joanne Jackson, from Blackpool Police, said: “I would appeal to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area over the past few weeks to come forward and contact police.

“This type of theft is highly dangerous and I would urge anyone who has any information about the people responsible to come forward.”

Firefighters in Blackpool also condemned the thefts, highlighting fears exposed gas mains could lead to fires.

Watch manager Mark Warwick from Blackpool fire station said: “The dangers are obvious with this.

“There is a feed that is going from the main into your meter and a domestic supply going into your house itself. Any sort of interference with the pipes is going to have massive safety implications.”

Anyone with information about the thefts is urged to contact Lancashire Police on 101.