Nelson back streets stripped of York Stone flags: police appeal

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Police are appealing for help after a spate of stone thefts from streets in Nelson.

Six different back streets in the town have been targeted in the last week alone as thieves seek valuable York Stone.

Stone has been lifted on back streets behind Brunswick Street, Napier Street, Hawarden Street, Edith Street, Maurice Street and Holly Street in the last seven days.

Police believe around 20 square metres has been taken in total, and once cleaned and smartened up, the stone could be worth in the region of £2,000.

In some cases the stone has gone but in others, it has been stacked up in preparation for collection.

Sgt Shaun Pearson said: “Not only is this a major health and safety issue when stones have been removed, but it’s the heritage of the town which is being taken.

“I would appeal to anybody who sees stones removed from streets or anybody disturbing stones to contact police on 101.”

Meanwhile, filling in the gaps the stones leave, which can be up to 3in. deep, is a matter for either Lancashire County Council or Pendle Council’s Area Committees to decide.

Scott Whalley, Pendle Council’s Development and Projects Manager said: “If the stone flags are stolen from adopted roads then Lancashire County Council would be responsible for the maintenance of those streets. They would do a site visit and make sure the area was safe.

“If the stone flags are stolen from unadopted streets then it is the responsibility of whoever owns the land, property, or the home owners.

“Generally people are not in a position to replace the flags and therefore would look to the council to do the work through the Area Committee for their area.

“Pendle Council doesn’t have a budget to replace stolen flags on unadopted streets.”