Scrap metal site operators in North Wales have been warned that their yards could be closed and they will face prosecution if they deal in stolen cables
In a joint operation with North Wales Police and Scottish Power, Environment Agency Wales officers have visited every permitted site in the area checking if operators are complying with their permits and gathering intelligence.
Officers visited 33 sites across North Wales offering advice and handing out posters which identify the different types of cable targeted by thieves.
One in three of the sites visited had stolen cables on the premises with a street value of about £20,000.
In addition to the scrap value of the metal, the operation could help prevent disruption to the power supply for homes and businesses across North Wales.
The stolen cables have been seized by police and all operators have been given a final warning that in future they will face strict penalties.
David Edwell from Environment Agency Wales said:
“Cable theft is a growing problem because it causes disruption to power supplies and puts lives at risk
“Operators tempted to handle stolen metal have now been told what they cannot have on their site.
“We will be keeping a very close eye on these sites from now on and if they are caught handling stolen cables they will be prosecuted by the police and we will revoke their permit.
“As regulator of these sites we will do everything we can to make sure they comply with the conditions of their permit and we’ll be working closely with the police to make sure these sites operate within the law.”