"THOUGHTLESS" thieves stripped £3,000 worth of lead from a GP practice in Abergavenny on the weekend.

The unusual shape of the roof on the Old Station Surgery means the exposed surface cannot be properly covered before the roof is repaired.

Any rain which falls in that time will cause water damage inside the building, potentially causing cancellations to medical services.

Practice manager Lorraine Brooks said: "These people don't care if we are a doctors' surgery providing a service. It's thoughtless, really."

The incident is the latest in a spate of lead thefts in Abergavenny.

"We're not alone in it," Ms Brooks said. "This was part of a bigger problem."

The thieves also damaged 200 roof tiles in their efforts to get to the lead.

The theft was reported to the police, but through her own enquiries, Ms Brooks discovered the incident happened at around 2am on Monday, October 22.

After stealing the lead, she said, the thieves drove away from the surgery in a flatbed lorry.

A local roofer told Ms Brooks the thieves would likely sell the lead for a fraction of its £3,000 value.

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In a statement, a spokeswoman from Gwent Police said: "‘At approximately 8:30am on Monday, October 22, we received a report of theft of lead from the roof of Old Station Surgery, Brecon Road in Abergavenny.

"Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting log number 68 22/10/2018 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 08005551111 or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org"

Several other buildings in the town, including a church, have been targeted by lead thieves in the last couple of years.

The owners of one firm, Gabb and Co solicitors, resorted to replacing the stolen lead on its roof with alternative materials.

Gwent Police offered the following advice for people to protect their property:

  • Regularly review the perimeter fencing and gates security of your property – check for holes and weak spots, which could allow people access.
  • Don’t give offender a place to hide! Cut back vegetation, move bins or improve the lighting.
  • Ensure any equipment or materials stored near buildings does not allow easy access to the roof.
  • Anti-climb paint or physical barriers can be used to prevent access, but all anti climb devices must be clearly signposted to comply with the Occupiers Liability Act 1984.
  • Don’t leave any scrap materials lying around which could tempt thieves.
  • If a theft has happened, you should consider using lead replacement products – check with your local planning officer to see if this is allowed on your building.
  • Consider installing CCTV with adequate monitoring and recording. Visible warning signs should be displayed as a deterrent to potential offenders.
  • Please remain to be vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, call 101. If you think a crime is taking place, call 999.