POLICE are hunting scrap metal scavengers who have stolen three giant dustbins.
Ward councillors Paul and Jeanette Prescott were mystified when they discovered heavy metal refuse containers had been stolen from Thorburn Road, and outside Thorburn House and Wiltshire Place, in Norley Hall.
The bins, which cost £450 each, were funded by Wigan Council’s Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, and were specifically chosen as they were more hard wearing.
Coun Jeanette Prescott said: “We recently put new bins in the estate but they have been ripped up out of the ground.
“We didn’t want plastic bins as they get burnt by vandals, so we chose heavy chunky metal bins and we didn’t think anyone would be able to rip them out.
“The bins cost £950 for two and it took us 12 months to get the funding.
“Six bins were due to be installed elsewhere in Norley Hall, but we have decided to hold back.
“We can’t afford to replace the three stolen bins, but if we don’t have bins the area will look awful as people will chuck their litter on the ground.
“If we don’t nip this in the bud, it could spread across the borough.
“I can’t believe people are stealing bins.
“These bins are obviously being stolen for scrap so we are asking people to be extra vigilant.
“We also need to make scrap metal yards aware. These bins will have the Wigan Council logo on the front, so yard owners should not be accepting them.”
Coun Prescott has been working with PCSOs in the area to determine who the culprits are.
Sgt Stephen Baldam, of Greater Manchester Police, said: “As yet, we have not received an official crime report of the theft of bins from this area but we are trying to establish what has happened so that we can look into it.
“Today, Operation Alloy is in operation across Greater Manchester and local officers will be visiting scrap yards in the area.
“They are aware that this may have taken place, so will be on the look-out for metal of this type. If the bins are discovered then an investigation will be launched.”