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Police launch appeal after metal from live gas pipe stolen

15 Feb 2024 2 minute read
Sections of the pipe have been removed – Image: South Wales Police

A Welsh police force has launched an appeal after metal from a critical live gas pipe supplying homes was stolen.

South Wales Police says sections of the pipe were removed from its housing making it potentially unsafe.

The gas pipe is vital for the communities of Port Talbot and the Neath Valley, ensuring people can heat their homes and businesses can operate effectively.

Officers have warned damage to the pipeline must be avoided to keep the gas flowing safely to local homes and businesses.

Theft of metal from any gas pipeline poses significant risk to life as damage to pipes can cause gas leaks or explosions.

If the pipeline is not in full working order, local homes and businesses would be without the use of gas for a considerable period of time.

Officers are warning that natural gas is highly explosive and gas leaks can be detrimental to health.


Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Jules Simpson said: “We strongly discourage people from putting themselves at great risk by stealing metal from live gas pipes.

“Not only are you breaking the law; you are risking serious harm or even death. We will identify and swiftly arrest those involved with the theft of these materials.”

“If you have any information regarding the damaging of the gas pipes, please contact South Wales Police.”

The Port Talbot Neighbourhood Policing Team have issued the following advice for protecting properties from metal thieves:

  • Ensure your gates are locked and your property is secured.
  • Restrict access to the roof by moving bins, water butts and tall trees away from the property. Lock ladders away in sheds, garages or compounds.
  • Remove any means of transporting stolen material, such as wheelbarrows or bikes.
  • Apply anti-climb paint to drainpipes and roof guttering to help restrict access to the roof.
  • Consider installing security lighting at your property.
  • Paint the lead with tar (makes removal difficult) or any other paint as this devalues the lead.
  • Carry out regular checks to roofs and gulleys.
  • Consider installing CCTV to cover the property with adequate monitoring and recording.
  • Encourage members of your community to keep a vigilant eye on your property and report any suspicious activity.

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