PUBLIC spirited residents have responded to an appeal about thieves risking their lives by breaking into electricity sub- stations.

The problem was highlighted in the Leader and ScottishPower says it has received an excellent response from Wrexham residents following an appeal for information on the identities of cable thieves.

The company warns reckless gang members have been putting themselves and engineers at risk by crudely targeting electricity sub-stations on Wrexham Industrial Estate.

ScottishPower said it decided to take the extraordinary step of offering rewards and setting up a confidential freephone hotline after a spate of incidents.

After the hotline facility was reported in the Leader, a number of concerned residents got in touch to pass on information. The company says details have been given to the police who are now pursuing the leads.

Frank Mitchell, director of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “We are very grateful to the members of the public in Wrexham who contacted us.

“Just like ScottishPower, the concerned callers want to see an end to the dangers posed by those who deliberately damage electricity equipment.

“All of the information that we have received has been given to the police who will be making further enquiries. The response so far has been excellent and we would still like to hear from anyone who spots suspicious activity on the electricity network.

Reports can be made confidentially to our freephone helpline on 0800 027 1950.”

The Leader reported how raids were taking place on 11,000 voltage sub-stations. It is thought a gang has been trying to steal copper with the aim of selling it on for scrap.

Project engineer Ian Davies warned someone could easily be electrocuted. In addition ScottishPower staff are being put at risk when they have to repair damage caused by raiders.