Lothian and Borders Police and ScottishPower are warning of the dangers of stealing metals after an attempted theft from a sub station in the West of Edinburgh.
The incident happened last Sunday night (11th April) when fencing was cut from around the perimeter of the Newbridge Primary Electricity Station.
Thieves tried to tamper with sub station equipment to reach the copper plating, however they were disturbed before they managed to reach it, and made off empty handed prior to police arriving.
This incident mirrors a national trend of thefts of copper from business premises in the past several months.
A police spokesperson said “This was a dangerous and extremely foolish crime. Thankfully no one was hurt, however the risk of stealing metal from stations is a very real one.
“As well as causing damage to the station itself’, had the thieves been successful, thousands of homes in West Lothian and the West of Edinburgh could have been left without power.
“We would encourage all businesses to be extremely vigilant and on the lookout for opportunistic thieves.”
Frank Mitchell, Director of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “It beggars belief that anyone would put their own life at risk by tampering with thousands of volts of electricity in order to steal small amounts of copper that have a minimal scrap value. Those involved in carrying out these thefts are showing little regard for their own safety, the safety of the public and that of our employees.
“These incredibly dangerous acts not only have the potential to cause serious injury but could also result in widespread loss of electricity supplies to homes and business nearby.
“We will continue to work closely with the Police to keep our equipment safe and to help catch those involved in this type of criminal activity.”
Media Information: Paul Ferguson, 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924