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11/06/12: Lancashire police in metal theft crackdown

Police in Lancashire have started a crackdown on metal thieves after a spike of the crime in the south of the county.

Criminals have targeted substations in Leyland, Bamber Bridge and Whittle-le-Woods, stealing metal from live equipment and running the risk of power cuts or dips.

Now, the constabulary is joining forces with Electricity North West - which owns and operates the network - to take the following actions:

  • Regular patrols in areas of concern
  • Visiting local scrapyards to talk to dealers
  • Working with Electricity North West engineers to identify metal stolen from the network
  • Informing local residents and consulting with Neighbourhood Watch bodies

Sgt Al McMiken, who is organising the operation, said: "If you see any suspicious activity near a substation or any other electricity installation, such as poles or pylons, then please contact the police immediately.

"Do not attempt in any circumstances to enter a substation or handle wires as they are likely to still be live and dangerous."

Electricity North West’s Lancashire area manager, Lee Maxwell, added: "Metal theft can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, including damage to appliances in your home.

"Thieves are putting their lives at risk, and these thefts can also be a risk to the safety of the public if sites are left in a dangerous state. I would urge anyone who has any information or suspicions on such thefts to report it to the police straight away."

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