Increase in power network thefts responsible for hundreds of power cuts

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A sudden increase in the number of thefts from the West Yorkshire power network has caused power cuts to hundreds of homes and businesses.

Over the last few weeks, a surge in metal thefts has increased across West Yorkshire causing chaos for Northern Powergrid’s customers’, as the volume of power cuts has risen.

Northern Powergrid’s Mick Hickling, head of West Yorkshire zone, said: “Thieves are targeting our 11,000 volt overhead network in the west Yorkshire area with little concern for their own safety, not only causing power cuts which have affected customers but also putting the public in danger. Thieves leave our network in a dangerous condition with cables often left within easy reach of people passing by. The worry is that an innocent bystander could be seriously injured as a result of the thieves’ actions.

“We would like to appeal to anyone who sees any suspicious activity to contact our emergency 24 hour number 0800 375675, the police on 101 or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 where a reward of up to £1,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.”

Sergeant Dan Jones, from West Yorkshire Police, said: “Criminals are targeting power cables with no regard for their personal safety, the safety of members of the public or the inconvenience that they cause. The number of people who are left without power is a cause for concern, particularly as the weather gets colder, many vulnerable people may be left without power.

“West Yorkshire Police have worked closely with Northern Powergrid to reduce the community impact by targeting offenders in an effort to prevent and detect crime. I would urge anyone with information to contact us via 101 or if they suspect a crime is occurring, dial 999.”