- 17 September 2012 12:00 AM
Thieves have targeted more than 30 electricity substations in the Dartford area in the past five weeks.
Police are investigating the spate of metal thefts at the UK Power Networks properties following 34 separate incidents since August 8. The latest theft occurred in the early hours of today (September 17).
UK Power Networks has increased security measures in the area, over and above those already in place at all sites, and is working closely with the police.
Thieves risk serious injury and death by tampering with electricity network equipment – even by entering a substation compound because high voltage electricity can jump across gaps.
Adam Champion, area manager for Uk Power Networks, said: “We take incidents like this very seriously. Safety is of paramount importance and we would like to warn that anyone entering a substation area, other than our own trained engineers, is risking their lives and the lives of others.
“Our biggest concern is that thieves risk being electrocuted - in these instances, they came very close to coming into contact with equipment carrying high voltage which would be fatal. Such incidents can also affect power supplies to our customers and our engineers then have to enter to replace the stolen equipment.”
Metal theft is currently a global problem, driven by the rising price and high demand for metal across the world. The company will press for the prosecution of anyone caught tampering with our network.
Please report any suspicious activity to police or UK Power Networks’ Substationwatch hotline 0800 587 3243.