ScottishPower has revealed that theft of copper wiring from their properties in Fife is causing major concern, with incidents not only threatening the reliability of the electricity network, but also potentially putting lives at risk.
Engineers discovered forced entry at a number of properties which have 33,000 volts of electricity running through them, and a small amount of copper ripped from the equipment. Although power supplies in the area weren’t immediately affected on any of these occasions, engineers had to carry out emergency repairs as there was the potential for power to be disrupted. These incidents have been reported to Fife police.
There have been as many as 20 incidents of theft or attempted theft of copper in Fife this year.
Commenting on the rise of thefts, Andy Bird, Customer Services Director at ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “It beggars belief that anyone would put their own life at risk by coming into close contact with thousands of volts of electricity in order to take small amounts of copper that have a minimal scrap value.
“The copper provides essential earthing for the electricity network and is there to ensure the system remains safe should a fault occur. Those involved in carrying out this type of activity are not only causing considerable inconvenience to customers but are showing little regard for their own safety and that of our employees.
"We are working closely with the Police to see what further steps we need to take to protect our equipment and would encourage anyone who sees something suspicious going on near electricity equipment to call their local station or Crimestoppers immediately."
Media Information: Paul Ferguson – 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924