Richmond Council has slammed thieves who have stolen the borough’s mobile air quality monitoring unit from the A316 and are appealing for its urgent return.

The Council owns one mobile monitoring unit and two static units. The mobile unit was located on a grass verge at the side of the A316 outside the new Richmond College Site.

At 1am on August 6, the unit ceased transmitting data. When officers visited the site they found the locked and alarmed unit had gone, with clear signs that the metal legs had been removed and the power had been cut.

Monitoring air quality in the borough takes place 24 hours a day. Accurate data regarding pollution and air quality helps feed into the borough’s Air Quality Action plan, and shapes future policies and decision making.

Cllr Alexander Ehmann said:

“This was a vital piece of equipment that was helping this borough monitor the impact of air quality appears to have been stolen. Words fail me.

“I urge those people who removed this trailer, to please return it. Anyone with information should also come forward to help the enquiries.”

The crime has been reported to the Police and anyone with any information about the missing unit is urged to call 101.