A REWARD of as much as £10,000 is being offered to anyone who can provide information to help convict thieves who steal metal from electricity substations.
A new Copped It advertising campaign by ScottishPower Energy Networks highlights the potentially fatal consequences of thefts in and around substations and power lines. A maximum reward of £10,000 will be given to any member of the public whose information leads to the conviction of someone stealing metal from ScottishPower.
The campaign has been launched in response to a surge in thefts and attempted thefts of metal, with 1,435 such incidents recorded at the company’s substations since January 2011, ScottishPower said. According to the firm, this has resulted in 140,000 homes put at increased risk of damage, 50,000 homes in Glasgow losing power for 30 minutes in November 2011 and the death of a 43-year-old man in July this year after an attempted theft from a substation in Lanarkshire. Around 11,000 hours have been spent on repairs and reinforcements, ScottishPower said.
ScottishPower Energy Networks is the licensed electricity distributor for central and southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire, with 30,000 substations, 40,000km overhead lines and 70,000km underground cables. Frank Mitchell, chief executive of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “The worrying reality of this kind of criminal behaviour is the serious impact it can have on local communities.
“As well as continuing to increase our own security and working closely with the police, we want to raise awareness of the threats posed by these kinds of thefts and we want to encourage people in communities to report any suspicious behaviour they see beside our power lines and substations. “We are happy to pay rewards for information that leads to criminal convictions, and we want to work closely with communities to help catch the criminals responsible for this dangerous activity.” Any suspicious activity can be reported to ScottishPower via its 24-hour response line on 08452 727 999.