Metal theft from electricity substations across Scotland in the last four years has cost SP Energy Networks £18 million in repairs and extra security.
The company has experienced 1212 raids on its substations – roughly one a day – with each one resulting in a loss of supply and a major safety risk to both the public and the perpetrator. The crimes have resulted in three fatalities, including one man who made direct contact with an 11Kv pole mounted transformer, and more than 20 arrests.
The Scottish Government is set to tackle the problem of metal theft by introducing legislation that prohibits scrap metal dealers from accepting cash payments and forcing them to identify sellers in September. SP Energy Networks district manager Eddie Mulholland said: “It beggars belief that criminals continue to dice with death for a few pounds worth of scrap metal. “What is more concerning is their complete disregard for the power cuts they have caused, and the house fires they have started.”