Warning after thefts of wires from electricity poles

Gardai and ESB Networks have raised concerns about potentially fatal robberies

File photograph of ESB crews working on lines. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

File photograph of ESB crews working on lines. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

Mon, Dec 2, 2013, 20:35

Gardai and ESB Networks have raised concerns following recent thefts of overhead wires from electricity poles.

A warning was issued to perpetrators of the dangers of the activity which has “potentially fatal consquences”, the organisations said in a joint statement.

They urged those stealing the wire from the live network that the activity was “very dangerous” and they should “cease immediately”.

Such thefts interfere with the power network, create risks for the public and interrupt power supply, the statement said.

They urged the public to help them to prevent such thefts from taking place.

“It is vital that if you see any suspicious people or vehicles anywhere near power lines that you contact An Garda Síochána/ESB Networks as a matter of urgency,” the statement said.

The statement was issued after a spate of thefts over the weekend of the copper electricity wire in Mullingar, in Co Westmeath and Inchicore and Ballymun in Dublin.

While metal and copper theft has been on the rise in year, climbing polls and snipping and stealing the wire is a new development in the trend.

Earlier this year gardai arrested 25 people during an operation targeting metal theft. The move was part of an ongoing Europe wide operation targeting metal theft as high global demand for raw materials has made it more attractive tho thieves.

Gardai deal with about 2,500 incidents of metal theft a year , Assistant Garda Commissioner Derek Byrne said said earlier this year.

Items reported stolen included beer kegs, copper wire, road signs, manhole covers, roofing lead and even goalposts. There have also been a number of high-profile thefts of precious objects including public sculptures and religious relics.

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