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Paving Stones and Ironwork Theft

The theft of paving stones (also known as flags) and ironwork (manhole covers, gully grates) from the streets of Leeds is a criminal offence.

The theft of paving stones has a financial impact on our resources. We will prosecute anyone who decides to lift paving stones or ironwork belonging to the residents of Leeds either for personal use or for financial gain.

Stolen paving stones leave gaps in the footway which are very dangerous to pedestrians and could result in serious injury.

Paving stones are the primary target for thieves and the theft of these stones is often observed by members of the public as the stones are bedded in to the footpath in residential areas.

Ironwork theft is usually only apparent to Highways Inspectors.

The usual method for thieves when stealing paving stones is to lift a small number from one street in minutes, then drive off to another location and lift some more. This is often, but not always, carried out at night.

What should I do if I think a paving stone theft may be taking place right now?

  • Do not approach the individuals, this could lead to a violent incident.
  • Make a note of the type of vehicle, the registration number and the appearance of the individuals.
  • Phone the police and report the situation. The police will send a patrol car to investigate.

What should I do if I notice that paving stones are going missing in my area?

  • Contact us (details in the top right corner of this page) and tell us the location of the missing paving stones or use the Highways online report form. 
  • A depot crew will be sent to investigate the missing paving stones and to make the area safe.
  • We will inform the police if we think theft is the cause of the missing paving stones in your area. The police will then be on the lookout for paving stone theft in your area during their patrols.