DOZENS of door knockers have been stolen from homes in Radcliffe.

Metal knockers were taken from about 30 front doors over the weekend, with 15 houses in Hampson Fold targeted.

Thieves also struck in Spenser Avenue and Shakespeare Avenue on Sunday night.

Only the moving arms of the door knockers – which can be easily unscrewed – have been taken, and police officers believe they are being sold for scrap metal.

Elderly residents of Six Town Housing properties in Hampson Fold, who reported the knockers missing on Monday, are concerned they will now be unable to hear if someone is at their door.

George Fields, aged 68, has lived in Hampson Fold with wife Elsie Fields, aged 77, for around five years.

He said of the 16 houses in his part of the street, every door knocker except one which was screwed on in a different way was taken.

Mr Fields added: “I went down the street counting all the knockers which had been taken and reported it to the police – and I did the same thing 12 months ago last time it happened.

“Thieves are not going to get very much money as it is not valuable metal, and it is just so annoying people are taking them off our doors.

“It is old people living here and many of them are deaf – so these knockers are the only thing they can hear when someone is at their door.”

Radcliffe police believe metal thieves seeking to weigh in the knockers for cash are behind the sudden outbreak.

They have asked residents to secure knockers to doors with self-tapping screws.

Another resident who reported a theft is 77-year-old John Fielding, who has lived in Hampson Fold with wife Beryl, aged 73, for ten years.

He said it was the third time in between 18 months and two years that his door knocker had been taken. Mr Fielding said: “They are just made of cheap metal – they look like brass or copper but are not made of that underneath.

“They would not be worth a lot unless whoever has stolen them is also conning the person they are selling them to.

“It is really bizarre. Maybe it is someone collecting them.

“We only noticed on Monday morning when our warden came to visit residents and noticed there was nothing to knock on the door with.”

A spokesperson for Six Town Housing said: “We will work with residents to source replacements which are less likely to be stolen and aim to have these fitted very soon.

“We will also continue to work with the police to try and prevent similar incidents occurring again.”