Thieves risk their lives to steal electric cables

Near Mugdock Country Park. Overhead electricity cables stolen.
Near Mugdock Country Park. Overhead electricity cables stolen.

Thieves risked their own lives and threatened the safety of others to steal electricity cables from overhead power lines.

The brazen crooks carried out two raids on August 4 and 6 - one near Mugdock Country Park (to the west of the park) and another near the A809 in the vicinity of Milngavie and Hilton Park golf courses.

Properties in the areas lost their power supply for a number of hours until it was restored.

The power lines can carry up to 11,000 volts of electricity, so as well as putting nearby properties at risk the reckless thieves were dicing with death.

ScottishPower is working closely with the police to catch those responsible.

They are offering a £5,000 reward for anyone who can provide information that leads to the conviction of the people involved.

Guy Jefferson, network operations director at Scottish Power Energy Networks, said: “The recent thefts near Milngavie have been concerning.

“I’d urge anyone who spots suspicious behaviour near our power lines to report what they see to the police. The thefts can also cause power interruptions, which are a major inconvenience. In the event of any power supply problems, the sooner they are reported to our hotline the quicker we can respond.

“Metal theft is one of the biggest threats to the safety of the electricity network and the impact of these crimes can be devastating.

“As well as major power cuts that have inconvenienced thousands of families, we have experienced house fires and damaged electrical appliances in homes following haphazard thefts of our cables.

“One man died recently attempting to steal copper from an electricity pole in Lanarkshire, and others have suffered horrific burns, loss of limbs and scarring.

“Unfortunately, it seems like the thieves don’t care about the risk to their own lives, and they certainly show no regard for the safety of neighbouring properties.”

The Scottish Government is bringing in tough new legislation to address metal theft, ensuring that all dealers are licensed and eliminating cash payments.

Better records and identity checks will also be introduced to tackle the widespread problem.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP, said: “Metal theft is simply not a victimless crime. As recent incidents have shown, the actions of a selfish minority create unnecessary cost, danger and disruption for the rest of the community.

“By reducing the outlets for stolen metal and the lure of ready cash we believe we can remove the incentive to steal.

“With tough legislation and enforcement, and continued work with police, companies like Scottish Power and the majority of reputable metal dealers, we believe we can end this crime.”

If you can provide 
information on the recent spate of thefts contact the 
police, or call Scottish 
Power’s 24 hour hotline on 0845 272 7999.