January 16, 2021

Thieves risk lives by stealing electricity network equipment in rural Southland

  • 1 min read

Thieves are playing Russian roulette with their lives, and putting public safety at risk, by tampering with electricity network equipment in search of copper earth wire.

This warning follows a spate of copper thefts recently around rural sites in the Southland region. PowerNet’s chief operating officer, Justin Peterson says a number of network equipment sites have been identified over the past week.

“We have had a number of sites on The Power Company network where earth wire running down the pole had been removed resulting in electricity equipment being left extremely unsafe.”

The thieves risk electrocuting themselves and endangering the public through electrocution and fire. Earth equipment provides a form of electrical protection, without which exposes people and property to unnecessary risk.

“We have dispatched PowerNet inspection teams from Gore and Invercargill to check all network equipment in the area, any faults found will be urgently repaired by our faults teams.

“It is really concerning that people are willing to risk their lives and the lives of those in our community for scrap metal that is worth very little in dollar terms. The cost of fuel to travel to these sites would far outweigh the value of the scrap metal,” Justin says. PowerNet is appealing to the public for any information.