A THEFT victim has hit out at new council regulations for adding insult to injury by leaving her out of pocket.
The resident, who asked not to be named, had two bins stolen from outside her home in Coast Road, North Shields.
Her annoyance about the theft turned to anger, however after she asked North Tyneside Council for replacements, only to be told she would have to pay up.
She said: “The fact that I am expected to pay to replace the bins has left me absolutely incredulous.
“To say that I am outraged is an understatement.
“I pay a contribution of council tax which is for a refuse and recycling service collection, and not only do I have to contribute for this service, I now have to pay for the replacement of the stolen waste receptacles to use it.
“If this is the case, I might as well ask for this service contribution to be removed from my council tax bill as I am unable to use it without the purchase of council-approved replacement receptacles for waste materials.”
She added: “Short of nailing the bins down, I fail to see what else I can do to prevent theft.
“The fact that the thieves actually emptied the contents of the bins all over the road before stealing them would suggest nothing would have deterred them.”
A council spokesperson said: “Replacement recycling caddies and bins have cost North Tyneside taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds over recent years.
“Included in the 2011-12 council budget was the introduction of a nominal charge for the replacement of these items. This has been advertised widely to residents.
“It is disappointing that this resident has been a victim of a burglary.
“However, the council can no longer replace stolen items free of charge.
“In order to prevent theft, we advise residents to take in their bins as soon as possible after collection and apply their house number to bins and caddies.
“For further information about replacement bins or caddies, contact the council on 0345 200 0103.”