Wrexham Industrial Estate has been targeted by copper thieves whose senseless crimes are increasingly dangerous to the electricity supply in the area and to public health. ScottishPower has now taken the extraordinary step of offering cash rewards for information about the crimes. Evidence suggests that the raids are the work of a gang rather than a lone crook, and that they have little knowledge of the equipment they are targeting or the danger it presents for themselves and others.
Metal theft is on the rise throughout Britain, and energy companies are working with the police to track down the gangs and individuals responsible. Thieves typically force their way into the electricity network to plunder small amounts of copper, which is then sold. These desperate actions not only jeopardise the reliability of electricity supplies for local homes and businesses, but increasingly put lives at risk.
Frank Mitchell, director of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “These criminals clearly have no idea what they are doing or how dangerous this equipment is. They are showing flagrant disregard for their own safety, the safety of the public, and that of our employees.
“It is important all our equipment is in service to ensure we can maintain a good quality of electricity supply to all of our customers who depend on our service. These dangerous acts not only have the potential to cause serious injury but could also result in widespread loss of electricity supply to homes and businesses in the Wrexham area. Wrexham Industrial Estate is one the largest industrial estates in Europe being home to over 300 businesses, whose trade could be seriously affected as a result of these thefts.
“It quite simply beggars belief that anyone would put their own life at risk by interfering with thousands of volts of electricity in order to steal small amounts of copper that have minimal scrap value. It is lucky that so far no lives have been lost, but if the thieves persist with this reckless behaviour it is only a matter of time before someone is fatally injured.
“We are working with the police in Wrexham who are already following strong leads, but we urgently request any member of the public with information to contact us immediately. ScottishPower is willing to pay a reward to anyone who provides credible information to help us bring charges against those involved with the thefts at Wrexham Industrial Estate. Call our confidential hotline on 0800 027 1950.”