Metal marking trial combats targeting of electricity substations

Wigan-metal-theft-trialA pioneering metal marking process is being trialled in Wigan at a cost of £170,000 to crack down on metal theft from substations.

Electricity North West owns and maintains the regional power network and has invested the money to implement the new process at more than 1,000 substations.

The scheme aims to combat the growing trend of metal theft throughout the area and help authorities to track down the stolen metal and convict thieves.

Recent figures published showed a 10 per cent increase in metal theft in Wigan and the surrounding area, with more than 30 crimes recorded in the past 12 months.

The new marking technique will be used to imprint information on metal used throughout Electricity North West’s network.

This data will build up a central database, which can be accessed by Greater Manchester Police to link stolen metal back to a particular substation to help gain a conviction.

Steve Cox, future network manager at Electricity North West, said: “Attempting to steal parts of the electricity network is extremely dangerous. It can also result in customers losing power and cost tens of thousands of pounds to repair the damage.

“By marking metal with secure codes, we will help stamp out this antisocial crime by deterring would-be thieves, and help the police catch anyone who steals metal from the power network.”

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