Road safety devices stolen from Sheffield by thieves

Sheffield Road near Woodhouse West School where speed detectors have been stolen from the road'Picture Dean Atkins
Sheffield Road near Woodhouse West School where speed detectors have been stolen from the road'Picture Dean Atkins

Road safety devices worth thousands of pounds have been stolen from Sheffield streets.

The speed indicator devices - known as ‘smileys’ because they feature a face which smiles when motorists are driving at the correct speed - were taken from Carr Road in Deepcar, Skew Hill Lane in Grenoside and Sheffield Road near Woodhouse West Primary School.

They were paid for using funds from the former northern and Woodhouse ward community assemblies, which have since been abolished.

Opposition Liberal Democrat councillor David Baker found that because the devices are not classed as a ‘network’ item they are not covered by council contractor Amey’s insurance.

If councillors want to replace the devices, which cost £6608.88 each they must be paid for out of community ward pots.

Coun Baker said: “Local people decided they wanted these SIDs and paid for them out of their community assembly money.

“It is ridiculous that the council have not insured a piece of equipment worth so much money and as this is their mistake, they should be the ones to foot the bill.”

The council said there were 22 other devices that move around the city and the situation was being monitored.

Thefts were also reported to the police.

Coun Terry Fox, cabinet member for transport at the council, said: “This is the first time any of our speed devices have been stolen and it is a disgrace someone would carry out such a pointless act and blatant act of vandalism.

“This was reported to the police as soon as it was noticed they were missing.

“Unfortunately councils are not able to insure everything against all possible circumstances as the costs over time would be far more than we’d get back in claims.

“At the moment we are not able to afford replacement devices.”