£1,000 reward on offer to help catch ‘reckless’ thieves

Cable thefts''Makeshift wooden platform built under 11,000 volt overhead line in order to cut conductors
Cable thefts''Makeshift wooden platform built under 11,000 volt overhead line in order to cut conductors

Northern Powergrid has teamed up with Crimestoppers to offer a reward of up to £1,000 for information on metal thieves.

The two groups are targeting theft hotspot areas with an online campaign aimed at reducing incidents, which can put people’s lives at risk and leave homes and businesses without power.

So far, there have been 354 incidents of metal theft or vandalism across the electricity power network in 2014, including one in Knottingley where 1,000 metres of live power cables were stolen.

In another recent incident, homes around Knottingley were left without power for 12 hours after cables carrying 11,000 volts of electricity were stolen near Cridling Stubbs.

On this occasion, the thieves left cables hanging down over a footpath used by dog walkers and live cables were left dangling above a road used by lorries.

The campaign will also make people aware of the dangers and disruption that can be caused by the theft of high voltage cables, earthing and other electrical equipment.

The cash reward is available to people who call Crimestoppers with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for metal thefts.

Gemma Wilson, regional manager for Crimestoppers, said: “What people don’t realise is metal and cable theft is incredibly dangerous and is a real threat to life.”

Nigel Walker, Northern Powergrid’s vulnerable assets manager said: “These thieves are reckless and show complete disregard for people’s lives.

“Not only do they disrupt people’s electricity supplies by causing significant damage to our power network, they often leave cables carrying thousands of volts hanging dangerously low and within easy reach of innocent passers-by, such as dog walkers or children.”

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.