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21/03/14: Metal theft crackdown wins top national award

Power operator Electricity North West has scooped a national accolade for its successful fight to crack down on dangerous metal theft in the region. Electricity North West wins national accolade for its successful fight to crack down on dangerous metal theft

Electricity North West has trialled new pioneering technology and worked with local police forces, British Transport Police and other partners to reduce metal theft crime by 50 percent and with more than 300 fewer crimes this year across the North West.

The National Metal Theft Awards, organised by the National Metal Theft Taskforce, granted the power operator the winner of the Crime Reduction category due to its tireless commitment in putting a stop to thieves stealing metal from substations and overhead powerlines.

Steve Cox, future network manager for Electricity North West, said: “We are delighted to have won this award and would like to thank our partners and our customers across the North West.

“Attempting to steal parts of the electricity network is extremely dangerous and it can also result in customers losing power and cost tens of thousands of pounds to repair the damage.

“We are pleased that the measures we have brought in are having a positive impact and we will continue to work to put a stop to this dangerous crime.”

Superintendent Alison Evans, head of the National Metal Theft Taskforce said: “These awards recognise the efforts of so many organisations and industries to tackle metal theft in all its guises.

“Electricity North West has pioneered new techniques to reduce the number of thefts impacting on its networks and has led the way in sharing best practice with those dedicated to tackling the issue.

“Metal theft has reduced dramatically in recent months – thanks to the work of police and partners in tandem with legislative change – but there is more to be done.”

Electricity North West celebrated two milestones in their metal theft crackdown last year, including 20 arrests during a Greater Manchester Police raid at scrap metal dealers and the sentencing of five men for more than 20 years for stealing from the power network.

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