Homes powerless as vandals cut cable

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MORE than 1,200 homes were left without electricity on Monday last week after vandals cut off the supply.

They struck an electricity substation in Archery Road, St Leonards just before 10.30am by damaging an 11,000-volt cable.

The affected residents had no power for up to three hours as engineers from UK Power Networks, which supplies the electricity, were called out to repair the damaged cabling.

People in Albany Road, Boscobel Road, Brittany Road and Cumberland Gardens were affected.

Nick Rogers, head of health and safety at UK Power Networks, said: “This was not only disruptive for our customers but also incredibly dangerous.

“Safety is our utmost concern and we have issued numerous warnings that vandals or thieves who interfere with our equipment risk serious burns or even death. We take this problem very seriously.

“We always support the police in their investigations which can lead to large fines and prison sentences.

“Reporting a concern could prevent a power cut or even save a life, so we appeal to the public to inform police about any suspicious activity around the equipment which brings power to their home or business.”

Engineers rerouted power to all those affected in stages between 11.30am and 1.30pm.

People can report any suspicious activity around substations and power lines to the police and the company’s Substation Watch hotline on 0800 587 3243.

PC Duncan Cleverley, of Hastings Police, said: “It was extremely dangerous to attempt to cut through high voltage cabling and we are thankful that no one appears to have been seriously injured. Anyone with information about those responsible can call us on 0845 60 70 999.”