NEWS & UPDATES
Street Light Steel Columns at Kuching Isthmus Severely Damaged Due To Vandalism
Daring Vandals Steal Entire Street Light Columns Due to High Steel Price
16 JUNE 2021
Vandals are now more daring when targeting electrical facilities which are meant for public convenience. On 14 June 2022, the electricity provider found out that nine of the street light steel columns at the Kuching Isthmus were cut and stolen by vandals.
In past vandalism cases, culprits normally targeted copper wires inside street light columns instead of the entire structure. In this case, Sarawak Energy believes that these individuals were triggered to do so due to the high commodity price for steel. Unfortunately, their actions have placed travelling motorists in danger as they are forced to travel in the dark at night.
A police report has been lodged for investigations and there will be increased patrols in this area to prevent more street light poles from being stolen.
Regional Manager for Western Region, Choo Min Chong voiced his concern about the increased frequency and severity of street light vandalism in Kuching and cautions on its dangers.
“This year, we have recorded more than 800 vandalism cases at our street lights in Kuching despite our efforts to reduce them. Now, the vandals even went as far as to cut and steal the entire street light steel columns. Even though we have repeatedly warned the public that stealing electrical facilities is dangerous and may cause loss of lives, it is unfortunate that our advice has fallen on deaf ears as vandals are still disregarding safety and risking their lives for small gains which can potentially lead to undesirable consequences,” said Choo.
“I would like to reiterate that vandalising any of our facilities where electricity is live 24 hours can cause flashovers or electrocution, burns and even death. In cases of unlit street lights caused by wire theft, motorists run the risk of road accidents when driving along the affected roads at night,” Choo continued.
Mitigation plans by Sarawak Energy to curb this issue include increased patrols at commonly affected areas and remote sensors installation to detect unauthorised entry at its facilities. For street lights, the technical team is looking into modifying the circuits and installing temporary twin twisted wires which will be suspended from the street light columns.
Sarawak Energy also seeks cooperation from members of the public to immediately report any individuals behaving suspiciously near any electrical facilities.
Joint operations with the Police will also be carried out to check recycling centres for trades of stolen copper cables, wires and even street light poles among second-hand dealers.
The public can report suspicious activities to Sarawak Energy’s 24-hour Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email email@example.com. All information obtained will be kept strictly confidential.
Cut and stolen street light steel columns at Kuching Isthmus