Hundreds left without power as metal thieves cut down cables

HUNDREDS of homes in East Yorkshire were left without power yesterday after thieves brought down 11,000-volt overhead power cables to steal copper.

Humberside Police said the thieves had endangered their own lives and those of others by leaving cables exposed and unsafe.

CE Electric UK said 238 properties had lost power in East Cowick and a further 751 were affected in Rawcliffe, both near Goole.

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It is believed the thieves sawed down poles carrying the cables in fields in the early hours to get at the copper. Cables were left hanging close to the ground.

CE Electric head of health and safety Paul Norton said: “The mindless actions of these thieves and their complete lack of regard for the consequences of their actions only highlights the extreme lengths these thieves are willing to go to.”

Power was restored in East Cowick by early yesterday afternoon with Rawcliffe due to follow in the evening.

A police spokeswoman said: “The offenders responsible for this are risking their lives and the lives of others by leaving the cabling in a dangerous and unsafe condition. There are thousands of volts carried in the cabling and anyone who does not know what they are doing and makes a false move could be left dead.

“We believe thieves are stealing the metal for its scrap value and so I would appeal to scrap dealers to be on their guard and report to the police anyone trying to sell them electrical copper cable.”

Coun Caroline Fox, who represents the ward affected by the thefts on East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “It’s totally irresponsible.

“If they’re caught, they should be brought before court and it should be a prison sentence.

“There should be no slaps on the wrists.

“We’ve got to come down hard on these people – it’s running out of control.”

Anyone who witnessed either incident or might know who is responsible should contact Humberside Police on 0845 6060 222.