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Metal Theft

Metal theft has become an increasingly serious issue over the past few years. Since 2011 thefts from utilities and local authorities have increased dramatically.

To report a power cut or damage to electricity power lines or substations, call the new national Freephone number 105.

We take the theft of metal from our equipment extremely seriously. It is not a victimless crime.

Metal theft:

  • Is a danger to public safety
  • Disrupts the power supply
  • Can be fatal

Public Safety

Thieves and vandals often leave equipment unsecured putting children and passers-by at risk of electrocution. Our engineers and emergency services staff responding to these incidents are also put at risk.

Disruption to your Power Supply

Metal theft causes power surges which can damage household appliances or even cause fires. It can also lead to power cuts. The loss of power to essential services like hospitals, medical centres and the emergency services, as well as vulnerable customers who rely on medical equipment at home, puts lives at risk.


In July 2013, one would-be thief sadly died while attempting to steal copper wire from one of our live electrical overhead cables. There have been a total of three deaths and many serious injuries as a result of metal theft.

What we’re doing

Since 2011 we've experienced over 1600 attacks to our equipment, putting hundreds of thousands of homes in potential danger and risking the lives of our customers and staff. That's why we're working closely with the police and local communities to catch the criminals responsible and deter further thefts.

  • We install anti-climbing devices and display ‘Danger of Death’ notices on our high voltage equipment.
  • We work closely with the police and local communities to increase awareness of the dangers.

How you can help

If someone comes to your door claiming to be from SP Energy Networks, ask to see their ID. Our staff always carry identification. If you are in any doubt, call our 24hr response line on 0800 092 9290.

Report any suspicious behaviour beside power lines and substations to the response line.

A reward of up to £10,000 may be available for information leading to a criminal prosecution.

Thanks to support from the public and quick police responses enabled by the use of cameras at our sites, we are now seeing a rise in the numbers of perpetrators being caught and prosecuted.

We continue to do everything in our power to combat these issues and to keep our customers and staff safe. Your ongoing support is vital to the success of our efforts.



Hi! I'm the SP Energy Networks System Agent, can I help you?