Energex has warned crooks responsible for copper theft from the power network they’ll now appear on video as the electricity distributor rolls out more covert CCTV cameras on its assets.
Earlier this year South East Queensland’s dumbest crooks began stealing copper from the live electricity network, not only risking their lives but those within surrounding homes and businesses by reducing the grid’s earth safety capabilities.
While some of these perpetrators were caught, others are still out there and Energex says it’s only a matter of time they, and others who attempt the potentially deadly practice, are caught.
On top of a number of security measures already in place, Energex has increased live video surveillance within its depots, begun installing covert cameras on their poles and deployed mobile security trailers to its construction worksites.
The amped up live monitored CCTV has already paid dividends with Energex being able to direct police, in real time, to a crook attempting to steal from the Beaudesert Depot recently only to be caught red-handed.
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Energex’s Head of Corporate Security Justin Morghem said the beefed-up security was not just about catching people stealing equipment, it was also about keeping the community safe from crooks destroying vital electrical safety equipment.
“What these people are doing is extremely dangerous. We’ve significantly increased security measures to protect the community and to ensure those carrying out the theft will now be caught on CCTV camera and the video handed to the police,” he said.
Security of the power network was not just about installing CCTV cameras on strategic sections of the power network according to Mr Morghem who said Energex has also now deployed built-for-purpose security trailers to their construction sites.
“These smart trailers are fully connected to our live monitoring via video around the clock, they also have sirens, flood lights and our staff can even verbally contact the would-be crooks over loudspeakers.
“Furthermore, anyone who attempts to tamper with the trailers will get the surprise of their life by instantly activating all security devices on it.”
Acting Minister for Mines and Energy, Mark Ryan, said the crooks were undertaking a very high-risk activity for very little reward.
“In carrying out these thefts these thieves can very easily kill themselves instantly. No second chances. And it’s really not worth it,” Acting Minister Ryan said.
“These thieves generally only get scrap metal worth just a few dollars and, little do they know, Energex has close relationships with many metal recyclers who can identify the material and report it when someone tries to sell it to them.
“Ultimately this entire stepped-up security process is about keeping the community safe from a few mindless crooks.”
Energex has also urged the community, if they see someone acting suspiciously around the power network or depots, to record any vehicle licence plates and call police or Energex directly on 13 12 53.