Endeavour Energy are calling on residents in the Penrith and Hawkesbury areas to join with NSW Police and Crime Stoppers to help crack down on copper theft.
“The Penrith Local Government Area has had the highest incidence of copper theft in NSW over the past five years with over 300 separate incidents since 2007,” said Endeavour Energy’s General Manager of Health, Safety and Environment, David Neville.
“While theft from major electricity substations and field service centres has fallen, the frequency of theft from power poles and streetlights is trending upwards.”
Mr Neville warned would-be copper thieves that the use of new technology to brand copper cabling has made the detection of stolen copper much easier for authorities.
“This new technology makes it much easier to identify stolen copper and successfully prosecute the thieves,” he said.
“We use an encoded spray to coat cables with an invisible marker which can be detected by an ultra violet scanner even if the copper has been melted down. So even if the thieves do not seriously injure themselves stealing copper from our network, we are now more likely to catch them when they try to on-sell the copper.”
Copper theft from the electricity network also puts both the thief and community at risk from exposed wires and unearthed electrical equipment.
“Thieves who continue to steal copper from our network do so at their own peril,” Mr Neville said.
“This is why the vigilance of local residents in reporting any suspicious activity around our network to Crime Stoppers is important in stopping copper theft.”
If you see any suspicious activity involving electricity cables, power poles or attempts to sell stolen copper wire, please report it anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.