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11/04/12: Metal thieves warned

Criminals who trespass on electricity substation sites in an attempt to steal metal are being warned of the possible consequences of their actions.Mark Drabble with Chief Inspector Stuart Rudd

There have recently been numerous reports of this kind of activity across the region and Electricity North West has joined forces with Greater Manchester Police to get the message across that metal theives are risking their lives.

Chief Inspector Stuart Wrudd of Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan Division said: “The people doing this may think it’s a victimless crime, but cable theft can potentially have a huge impact on communities causing power failures.

"Residents rely on electricity for all kinds of things, and it’s not just a case of causing inconvenience, as some people’s lives depend on an uninterrupted power supply.

“I would also remind offenders that they are putting themselves in great danger by trespassing on substation sites. I cannot stress enough how dangerous this is, and as it is also illegal we will take robust action against anyone responsible. Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity around substations should contact police immediately.”

Electricity North West’s Mark Drabble added: “Danger of death signs are there for a very good reason. Entering a substation with live equipment in it is incredibly dangerous.

"We are working very closely with the police and with scrap yards, and we’re supporting a change in legislation that makes it much more difficult for criminals to sell-on stolen metal. Risking death or being arrested is simply not worth it.”

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