Reckless thieves

ScottishPower has launched a £20,000 rewards fund in a bid to catch reckless power cable thieves - before more lives are lost.

One criminal has already died in Lanarkshire while trying to steal copper from an electricity pole.

Around 20 similar incidents have been reported across Central Scotland in just over two weeks, with thieves targeting power lines in farms and rural locations.

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Scottish Power says they are cutting down live power lines that can carry up to 11,000 volts of electricity, and their actions could cause fires in nearby properties, or even cause traffic accidents if brought down near roads.

In one incident a power line was brought down across a road, and was struck by a truck, causing a temporary power cut for 1,500 homes.

In 2011, a botched cable theft in Glasgow saw a 30 minute power outage for 50,000 properties in the south side.

Now Scottish Power is hoping the prospect of rewards will persuade people to report incidents as and when they happen.