Metal Theft Campaign Launched By Gardaí

A new campaign to tackle metal theft has been launched by An Garda Síochána in conjunction with Crimestoppers and ESB Networks.

The new campaign continues the work of the Metal Theft Forum, which was established in 2012 to develop a metal theft prevention and crime reduction plan.

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."

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.

Information can be provided to your local Garda station, by calling ESB Networks on 1820 372 999 or by the Crimestoppers confidential telephone service by calling 1800 25 00 25.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

07 August 2015
Copper Thieves Endangering Lives - ESB Network
Thieves stealing live copper overhead power lines are not only putting their own lives at risk, but are also endangering the lives of others by leaving "potentially unsafe live electrical network after them and interrupting supply to critical services", An Garda Síochána and ESB Networks have said.
31 August 2012
Three Men Arrested In Connection With Metal Theft
Three men have been arrested in connection with the theft of metal from premises on St John's Street, Ardee, on Wednesday. Gardai recovered the metal after stopping and searching a van, after the incident was reported. The men, aged 17,20 and 21 have been detained under the provisions of section 4of the Criminal Justice Act.
23 January 2008
Man Hurt In Trawler Accident
A man has reportedly been airlifted to a Limerick hospital following an accident on board a Spanish fishing trawler off the west coast of Ireland. According to reports, the 35-year-old was hit on the head by a large metal hook and knocked unconscious.
05 January 2012
ESB Assist In Scottish Electricity Restoration
Ireland's electricity supply board have sent a crew of technicians to Scotland, to assist the country restore its storm damaged power grid.
06 August 2015
Five Arrested Over Theft Of ESB Power Cables
Five men have been arrested in connection with the theft of ESB overhead power cables in a gardaí operation. Gardaí attached to the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, assisted by local Gardaí from Kildare and the Garda Air Support Unit, launched the arrest operation. Two of the men have been released without charge and investigations are continuing.