THE South Wales Valleys are the ‘milking’ capital of the world, according to figures sure to send a chill down the spine of those who eagerly await a pint of the white stuff every morning.
South Wales Police statistics show more pints of milk are stolen from doorsteps in the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys than in notorious crime ridden cities such as Johannesburg, South Africa or Port au Prince, the capital of crisis struck lawless Caribbean island Haiti.
Behind the cold statistics are real victims, such as innocent milkmaid Margaret Caddy who has risked the constant annoyance of having to replenish swiped bottles for 38 years as she tours the steep, mean terraced streets of the Rhondda and Cynon Valleys in her electric float.
Margaret, who runs M&P Caddy Dairy with her husband, Phillip, says she has grown tired of teenagers snatching milk from doorsteps causing the pair endless grief.
Six weeks ago, 50 pints of milk were stolen from Church Village alone in one early morning crime spree, and last year their products were picked up from several streets in Tonyrefail.
Undercover detectives have even been deployed to patrol the streets in a bid to catch the thieves, who can be identified by their signature white moustaches.
Margaret, from Tonyrefail, inherited the business from her grandparents, who used to travel on a horse and cart delivering milk.
But as the company celebrates its 75th anniversary, 54-year-old Margaret said she despairs of what she might find when she should be entitled to put her feet up after finishing her morning round.
“Last April, streets and streets were losing their milk at the same time in Tonyrefail, and it takes us a lot of time and effort to replace the milk.
“The police have told me I’m the highest victim of crime in South Wales – that just shows how bad this is.”
PC Bob Masters, neighbourhood beat manager in Tonyrefail and amateur historian, said: “Milk has been delivered to doorsteps across the area by this company for many generations and it is very important this company can continue to operate as I rely on them for a pint of semi skimmed and a gold Jersey top, six mornings a week. Have you ever tried eating two Weetabix and no milk in the morning? Not very pleasant I can assure you. I wouldn’t feed that to a prisoner in the cells.”