What do Stoke-on-Trent and Cambridge have in common? How about Dublin and Dunstable? Or even Neath and Coventry? The answer is that all six places have recently been in the news for a criminal craze that is sweeping our towns and cities. Incidents of bin theft have dramatically increased and, to be fair to the aforementioned places, we could have named almost anywhere in the United Kingdom or Ireland. What is causing this rubbish racket and wheelie wickedness? More importantly, what can we do to stop our bins being breached?
One reason for the increase in thefts is the growing black market in bins. With many councils now charging residents for replacements, organised gangs of ‘white van men’ have taken to stealing them from under the noses of homeowners before selling them on to other victims, who themselves desperately need new wheelies. In some areas of the country, so harsh are the penalties imposed by local authorities for legitimate replacements that stolen bins can fetch up to eighty pounds.
Lewis Herbert, the leader of Cambridge City Council, speaking to The Daily Mail, said: ‘We are effectively creating a black market in black bins. I would not be surprised if people choose to buy them back cheaper from other sources. If the council does not change its policy of charging for replacements, there will be many more incidents.’
The other major cause of wheelie bin theft is less organised but far more dangerous. It is particularly prevalent at this time of year and involves gangs of yobs, under cover of darkness, stealing bins en masse in order to provide fuel for their illicit bonfires.
One such incident happened in Stoke-on-Trent last week, where thieves stole twenty bins before setting fire to a ten-metre-wide pile of rubbish on a nearby playing field. Firefighters spent forty minutes tackling the blaze.
Speaking to The Stoke Sentinel, Bernard Brassington, a local resident, recalled: ‘I woke up at 2:30am and saw lights flashing from a fire engine at the bottom of the street. It was then joined by a police car. I only knew what had happened when I got up and went to put something in my bin and it was gone. I looked around and there were no bins at all. The ones across the road had been taken too. It’s strange. Who would want to steal a bin?’
Unfortunately, not all people share the sensible attitude of Mr Brassington and, as we have seen, the answer is an alarmingly high number of people. But what can we do to prevent ourselves falling victim to this crime? Short of keeping a twenty-four-hour vigil over our bins, there is only one answer: purchase a wheelie bin storage unit.
Our fantastic range includes single, double, triple, and even combination storage options, allowing you to securely and discretely house your bins. Not only will they be stylishly hidden away from the prying eyes of racketeers and yobs, but from more traditional garden pests too. Feel free to browse our website and don’t forget that expert advice is only a click or a call away. You can read more about this story here.