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Sub station vandalism costing money

PUBLISHED: 22:30 04 June 2002 | UPDATED: 15:27 03 March 2010

VANDALISM is leaving Suffolk electricity substations needing constant fence repairs, to stop children crawling in.

But the cost of such work is inevitably falling on customers, 24seven admitted today as the firm urged people to realise vandalism is 'self defeating.

VANDALISM is leaving Suffolk electricity substations needing constant fence repairs, to stop children crawling in.

But the cost of such work is inevitably falling on customers, 24seven admitted today as the firm urged people to realise vandalism is 'self defeating.'

The continual problem is causing 24seven a headache, and one Ipswich resident has pleaded with parents to control young vandals.

A substation in St Osyth Close, Ipswich was surrounded by metal fencing after resident Laura Byrne contacted 24seven in December.

But it didn't take long for the fence posts, which were encased in concrete blocks, to be damaged and now youngsters are free to enter at their peril.

Mrs Byrne, of Fountains Road, said: "I phoned 24seven a couple of days ago but nothing has been done.

"Any children could crawl straight in, and it is dangerous.

"Myself and a neighbour are thoroughly fed up with it. I think the children who are causing the vandalism should be properly controlled by their parents."

Chris Dodson, spokesman for 24seven said a contractor had been out to inspect the substation, to discover that that temporary fencing put up earlier this week had been broken.

He said: "The contractor is now awaiting our approval to install steel panels, which should be much more resistant to vandalism.

"This is urgent, so should take days rather than weeks, and cost £2,500.

"It is difficult to try to beat the vandals, while at the same time other people don't want us to spoil the environment.

"We don't want people going into substation areas, because it could be dangerous with the high voltages going through there.

"It is a constant problem –we've had problems in Luton, and in Norfolk a 6ft fence was stolen. People even got into one substation and threw switches, cutting off peoples' power supply.

"At the end of the day, there is always a cost to security measures, and that inevitably falls on the customer, indirectly – so vandalism is self defeating."

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