ScottishPower has slammed dangerous criminals who cut off power supplies to 57 homes and caused damage to household appliances in Wishaw after cutting through live power lines to steal metal in the early hours of 30th October.
The theft caused a voltage fluctuation to nearby properties, which appears to have caused some damage to customers’ electrical appliances. It follows a spate of similar criminal activity in Lanarkshire over the last month, which has seen as many as 10 theft incidents. The company has already increased patrols in the area and have been working very closely with the Police.
The incident occurred just after 3am, and ScottishPower has reported this new incident to the Police. The power company’s engineers attended site straight away and discovered that power lines had been cut down. Engineers have spent the morning visiting affected customers to ensure that the connections going in to homes were safe to turn supplies back on, and the company turned supplies back on mid-morning.
The theft comes just a week after ScottishPower launched a new hard hitting advertising campaign in response to the worrying number of thefts and attempted thefts of metal from its electricity network. As part of the campaign ScottishPower is also willing to pay up to £10,000 to any member of the public who can provide information that leads to a conviction on criminals involved in metal theft from its equipment.
Guy Jefferson, Operations Director at ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “Metal theft from the electricity network is not a victimless crime. The recent thefts in Lanarkshire have been exceptionally dangerous. Many residents have been greatly inconvenienced and will have been troubled by the events, and will now need to contact insurance companies to report damage and seek to replace anything that has been damaged.
“The people responsible for these thefts have shown a staggering disregard for the safety of residents. Their thoughtless and selfish actions have caused damage to personal property, as well as unnecessary inconvenience and anxiety for many people. All of this for the sake of stealing small amounts of scrap metal that would have a minimal sell-on value. It beggars belief that anyone could be so thoughtless, and we will be working closely with Police to help ensure that the criminals responsible are caught.”
ScottishPower has appealed for anyone who can provide information on the break-in to either contact the Police, or to call the company’s 24 hour response line on 0845 272 7999.
Media information – ScottishPower Press Office - 0141 614 4660