ScottishPower has warned about the dangers of trying to steal metal from its substations, after an attempted theft in Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, on Monday (27th May) caused a voltage fluctuation to nearby properties, damaging appliances in around 30 homes.
The incident occurred just after 6am, and ScottishPower has reported the matter to the Police. The power company’s engineers attended site and discovered forced entry at Glentyan substation, with the internal equipment vandalised and damaged.
As a safety precaution, ScottishPower engineers disconnected supplies to approximately 150 homes, to allow for their engineers to check each property and ensure that it was safe to switch the power back on. Electrical appliances were found to be damaged in around 30 properties. Engineers restored power supplies to some homes by lunchtime, but those with internal damage could not be safely switched back on until approximately 8pm.
Guy Jefferson, Operations Director at ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “Metal theft at electricity substations is not a victimless crime. This recent incident in Kilbarchan was exceptionally dangerous, and it is very fortunate that nearby homes weren’t damaged further. As it stands, many people had their bank holiday completely ruined, and will now need to contact insurance companies to replace appliances that have been damaged.
“The people responsible for this break-in 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 security hotline on 0800 027 1950.