Copper thieves to be caught on camera


Wednesday, 15 January, 2020


Copper thieves to be caught on camera

More CCTV cameras have been rolled out by Energex, in an effort to catch those stealing copper from the power network.

Copper started to go missing from South East Queensland’s live electricity network earlier this year, prompting the electricity distributor to increase surveillance on its assets.

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 its 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 person attempting to steal from the Beaudesert Depot recently.

Energex said that perpetrators not only risk their own lives, but also those within surrounding homes and businesses by reducing the grid’s earth safety capabilities. While some have been caught, others remain at large.

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 thieves 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 Morghem, who said Energex has also now deployed built-for-purpose security trailers to its construction sites.

“These smart trailers are fully connected to our live monitoring via video around the clock. They also have sirens, floodlights 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 thieves were undertaking a very high-risk activity for very little reward.

“In carrying out these thefts these thieves can very easily kill themselves instantly,” he said.

“No second chances — and it’s really not worth it. 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.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Parilov

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