Concerns raised over metal theft from farm land

ESB network crews who were repairing damaged powerlines at Drumlara, Between Kilcock and Summerhill Co Meath. Picture Credit : Frank Mc Grath
17/10/17
ESB network crews who were repairing damaged powerlines at Drumlara, Between Kilcock and Summerhill Co Meath. Picture Credit : Frank Mc Grath 17/10/17
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

An Garda Síochána are calling on members of the public and, in particular, the farming community with overhead power lines on their land to be vigilant of suspicious activity.

Gardai, Crimestoppers and ESB Networks are today launching a campaign to tackle the serious problem of metal theft.

Metal theft affects a large number of businesses and communities and includes the theft of electricity cables, copper wires, road signs, beer kegs, electrical goods, letterboxes and goal posts. Ireland’s electricity network, public transport and telecommunications networks have all been victims of metal theft, with criminals removing large amounts of electrical cable, signal cable and copper wire.

Of particular concern is the sharp increase in ESB Network station break-ins and the ongoing theft of electrical cable. In 2019 the number of High Voltage (HV) station break-ins doubled compared to 2018 and 2017. There have been 43 break-ins to ESB Networks substations in 2019. Serious injuries and fatalities have been caused as a direct consequence of metal theft.

John O’Driscoll, Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Síochána said, "Metal Theft can affect everyone. Specifically, stealing metal from ESB Networks' equipment causes power cuts which impact on families, businesses and the economy in general. I appeal to any person to contact An Garda Síochána, immediately, if they are aware of suspicious activity taking place close to an electrical installation on their land.

"I am also specifically appealing to any person involved in the purchase and or resale of metal products, to ask appropriate questions and report unusual sources of metal as you may inadvertently facilitate criminal activity and commit an offence of handling stolen property, if you purchase metal that is stolen,” he said.

An Garda Síochána are calling on members of the public and, in particular, the farming community with overhead power lines on their land to be vigilant of suspicious activity and to come forward with any information they may have on metal theft and people engaged in this illegal activity.

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