Appeal After Powerline Tampering, Christchurch

Police are appealing for information following recent incidents of Powerline tampering and theft across Christchurch.

Over the last 10 days Police have been notified of increasing reports of powerline theft and tampering.

Incidents are occurring across Christchurch, including multiple central locations such as Disraeli Street in Addington, the area surrounding Hillview Road and Phillips Road in Phillipstown and Brougham Street, they are as wide spanning as West Melton, Halswell, and Marshlands.

Police have informed Community Patrol and Frontline Police units on what to look out for and have communicated with businesses and residents in affected areas.

Police are also engaging with local scrap metal dealers as part of the investigation.

On multiple recent occasions powerline tampering and the theft of copper from the powerlines have led to power outages on affected streets.

Typically once the offenders get what they want, the powerlines are left in an exposed and dangerous state.

In one occasion powerlines were tampered with and left broken outside of a Phillip Street Preschool.

Fortunately, no one has been harmed, but as far as Police are concerned it is only a matter of time.

Senior Sergeant Roy Appley says: “Our message to offenders is to stop this behaviour before someone, including yourself, gets hurt.

“You are putting yourselves and others at extreme risk of electrocution, for such a small return.”

We are appealing to the public for any information that could assist in identifying and locating those involved.

“If you hear anything out of the ordinary overnight, do not think nothing of it.

“We need Christchurch residents to be aware of the risk of exposed or damaged wires – do not touch them and call Orion on 0800 363 9898 straight away,” says Snr Sgt Appley.

Police urge residents to ring 111 immediately if you see anyone acting suspiciously around power poles and lines, or 105 after the fact

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.