Increase in Metal Theft puts your safety at risk

Over recent years metal theft has increased dramatically due to rising selling costs of scrap metal. Many seeing the theft of manhole covers, roofs, even statues including former Olympic champion Steve Ovett. South Yorkshire is one of the biggest problem areas and police are trying their hardest to crack down on these thieves but rely heavily on members of the public contacting them when anything suspicious is seen. Over 7,000 crimes are being reported per month!

 .The scrap van which was seized by police in Eccleshall..

This type of theft can have such a dramatic affect on businesses, communities and individuals. According to the Association of Chief police officers it is estimated that it costs the UK Economy over £770m every year.

Areas affected

2012 saw the theft of 26 animal cages from an animal hospital in Leicestershire worth approx £30,000. The animals were emptied from their cages and left.


Theft of copper from the side of railway lines is one of the largest problematic areas resulting in train hold ups as well as creating huge safety issues for all on board.


Another area being heavily affected is your electricity supply. Theft of electricity cables is on the rise. Not only are these thieves disrupting your supply but they are also causing a serious public safety issue often leaving cables dangling and sometimes live. These reckless individuals are putting both their own lives and the lives of the public at risk. 10 people were tragically killed last year as a result of metal theft. Their actions can leave hundreds of homes without power and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to our electricity network. In some cases they can also cause damage to household electrical appliances due to the voltage irregularities resulting from the theft of critical electrical components. UK insurers reportedly pay out over £1 million a week to victims of such theft. (Source: ABI)

How you can help?

If you see any suspicious vehicles or activity around electricity substations or overhead power lines in your neighbourhood, please contact the police immediately. You can also call the Northern Powergrid directly and they will come to the site and ensure the area is made safe as soon as possible. Northern Powergrid are working closely with the police to help them with their investigations into these crimes, sharing all the information gathered.

Crimestoppers have also got involved to try to put an end to this mindless crime. If you have any information that could help us catch these thieves, but you do not want to contact the police or The Northern Powergrid, then please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 – your call will be totally anonymous.

Safety comes first

Finally, we would also like to tell you how important it is that you do not touch any exposed cables, enter open substations or attempt to move dangling cables as they may still be live and, therefore, extremely dangerous. It is important that you ensure children, pets and livestock are kept away from any damaged or exposed electrical equipment.


If you have any queries if your property has been tampered with or need assistance with security to ensure this does not happen Select 1 are able to offer security systems with a tamper alarm. Please call us on 0800 118 2568 for more information or email us at


Source: Northern Powergrid.

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