Reward of £10,000 offered over metal thefts

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Media captionThere have been 1,435 metal thefts at Scottish Power substations since January 2011

A reward of up to £10,000 is being offered for information leading to the conviction of thieves who steal metal from electricity substations.

Scottish Power Energy Networks' new campaign, Copped It, highlights the consequences of thefts in and around substations and power lines.

The campaign has been launched in response to a surge in thefts and attempted thefts of metal.

There have been 1,435 incidents at the firm's substations since January 2011.

According to the company, this has resulted in 140,000 homes put at increased risk of damage, 50,000 homes in Glasgow losing power for 30 minutes in November 2011 and the death of a 43-year-old man in July this year after an attempted theft from a substation in Lanarkshire.

A Perthshire man and his pregnant wife also had a lucky escape this week when a surge caused by thieves stealing live overhead cables set their house on fire.

Scottish Power said that about 11,000 hours had been spent on repairs and reinforcements.

It said a maximum reward of £10,000 would be given to any member of the public whose information leads to the conviction of people who steal metal from the company.

Chief executive Frank Mitchell said: "The worrying reality of this kind of criminal behaviour is the serious impact it can have on local communities.

"As well as continuing to increase our own security and working closely with the police, we want to raise awareness of the threats posed by these kinds of thefts and we want to encourage people in communities to report any suspicious behaviour they see beside our power lines and substations.

"We are happy to pay rewards for information that leads to criminal convictions, and we want to work closely with communities to help catch the criminals responsible for this dangerous activity."

Any suspicious activity can be reported to Scottish Power via its 24-hour response line on 08452 727 999.

Scottish Power Energy Networks is the licensed electricity distributor for central and southern Scotland and for Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire, with 30,000 substations, 40,000km overhead lines and 70,000km underground cables.

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