Public urged to report suspicious activity around power poles

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Manawatū Police are appealing to the public to report any suspicious activity around power poles and lines in their community, particulary around cutting power lines.

“So far this year in the Manawatū alone, approximately 10,000 metres of copper cabling has been stolen from Powerco’s electricity network,” Inspector Ross Grantham says.

If anyone sees anyone acting suspiciously around power poles and lines, particularly in rural areas, they are asked to ring 111 immediately.

“Police have seen many instances of potentially live wires being left hanging down, or earth cables being cut when people have stolen cables,” he says.

“Thieves may not realise they are putting their lives and those of the public at risk by stealing it. It’s only a matter of time until either a thief, or an innocent member of the public, is injured or killed because of these actions.”

The Police encourages people, particularly in rural areas, to form neighbourhood support groups and remain vigilant for suspicious activity in their area.

Powerco’s General Manager of Health and Safety, Julie McAvoy, says Powerco’s priority is to make its electricity network safe following any thefts, with repairs being made as soon as any damage is discovered.

“We take public safety incidents extremely seriously. We encourage members of the public to notify us immediately if they see anything on our electricity networks that they are concerned about regarding safety, such as wires that have noticeably been cut or wires hanging low.”

Powerco’s emergency number is 0800 27 27 27.

Powerco thanks the Manawatū public for being vigilant and reporting any suspicious activity taking place on power poles and lines to the Police.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Loose wires hanging from a pole

Damaged power pole and lines following a copper theft incident.

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