“Reckless” metal thieves target power lines

Metal thieves have target power lines in Hebden Bridge
Metal thieves have target power lines in Hebden Bridge

Metal thieves are being branded reckless and dangerous after a series of attacks on the electricity network in Calderdale and other parts of Yorkshire.

Since the turn of 2014, there have been a total of 23 incidents in the Hebden Bridge, Harrogate and Mablethorpe areas alone, with a total of eight kilometres of high voltage and low voltage overhead cable stolen.

Hundreds of homes and businesses have lost power as a result and in many cases cut power lines have been left dangling dangerously close to public highways and footpaths, and in other cases left lying on the ground. Sometimes they are still live.

Northern Powergrid, the electricity distributor for Yorkshire, the North East and northern Lincolnshire, is appealing to anyone with information to get in touch immediately.

Mick Hickling, Head of Network Repairs said: “The consequences of an adult or child innocently coming into contact with these damaged cables before our staff are alerted doesn’t bear thinking about. These thieves are reckless and clearly don’t care that they’re leaving behind damaged equipment that could cause serious injury or worse. Nor are they bothered that hundreds of people may have lost their electricity supplies as a result. Sadly we can’t be everywhere, so we ask that anyone, particularly if you live in a rural area, who sees any suspicious activity around the electricity power network reports it to us on our emergency 24 hour phone number 0800 375 675, the police or Crimestoppers immediately.”

The police can be contacted on 101 or Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555111, where a £1000 reward may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.