Power company's warning after intruders 'dice with death' to break in to Lancashire substations

Reckless intruders are being warned to stay away from powerful electricity substations or risk dicing with death.

By Phil Cunnington
Friday, 23rd July 2021, 5:05 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 5:06 pm

The stark message comes from Electricity North West following break-ins at six of its substations in Leyland, while several wood poles have also been tampered with.

The incidents happened at substations on Slater Lane, Moss Side Way, Titan Way and Comet Road, as intruders broke through padlocks and stole small amounts of metal and pulled wires from electrical assets.

Intruders have also attempted to sever wood poles which carry powerful electricity lines off Schleswig Way and Leyland Lane.

Electricity North West’s Ben Fiddler at one of the vandlised substations on Slater Lane, Leyland. Intruders have broken into six substations in the Leyland area in the past few weeks

The six 11,000-volt substations and overhead lines power thousands of customers, including St James’ Primary School and Moss Side Nursing Home.

Hundreds of customers’ power supplies in the area have been affected during the break-ins but Ben Fiddler, Electricity North West’s area manager for Leyland, said the intruders may not be so lucky next time.

“These incidents are very serious, firstly, it’s illegal to gain access to a substation, but each time a person breaks in and touches equipment, they dice with death,” he said.

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Substations are an important part of the power network because they take high voltage power from cables and transform it into a lower voltage which can be used safely in homes.

On each occasion, Electricity North West engineers attended site as quickly as possible to ensure the substation was made safe and supplies were restored.

Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble added: “What the intruder is doing is illegal, extremely dangerous and very disruptive for the residents in Leyland.

“I’ll be working with Electricity North West and the police to ensure everything can be done to put this to an end.”

If anybody sees an intruder at a substation, they should report it to Electricity North West by calling 105 and to the police by calling 101 and quoting the crime reference number 04/116774/21.

For more information about Electricity North West, please visit www.enwl.co.uk.