THIEVES risked death to steal live electricity cables in Huddersfield.

And I believe they also put innocent members of the public at risk.

They stripped metres of cable from roadside posts in Emley – oblivious to the threat of electrocution.

And it is just the latest in a series of worrying crimes.

The theft of copper is nothing new to us, but recent events in Kirklees have seen a worrying and dangerous trend emerge.

The thieves are stealing copper cabling from electricity sub-stations and even from live wiring from roadside electricity masts.

Only last week we had cable stolen from a sub-station in Liversedge and then days later a cable theft in the same area which caused a major power cut and also hundreds of thousands of pounds damage.

And on July 22, approximately £20,000 of live cable was stolen from the roadsides of Paul Lane and Common Lane in Emley, near to Emley Moor TV mast on the outskirts of Huddersfield.

Here, thieves ripped out the live wire, stole the copper cabling from it and left live wires fully exposed. Clearly this was an extremely dangerous and foolhardy crime to commit and the thieves are lucky to be alive.

These idiotic criminals are also putting the lives of the public and the police at risk however, as exposed live wires could obviously kill anyone who comes into contact with them, be they dog walkers, police officers attending a crime report, or workers for the electricity companies themselves who are making repairs.

In a similar vein, over the weekend thieves stole copper cabling from a sub-station in the Spen Valley area.

This theft caused a power surge in the local area that caused a power cut that affected hundreds of people.

More worrying though, the power surge caused many electrical appliances in people's homes to catch fire or smoke.

A nursing home on Church Lane in Liversedge was particularly badly affected in this way and residents had to be evacuated whilst the fire service made the building safe.

Fortunately there were no serious fires and no-one was injured, but this clearly was a serious matter and a very frightening experience for the elderly people affected.

Thankfully, we have arrested and charged a man in connection with the Spen Valley incident and he is going through the courts, but we are still to trace any of the suspects for the Emley incident.

Our investigations so far suggest that a red and white Ford Transit van could be linked, but we have also received information that a silver Ford Fiesta was in the area at the time the crimes were committed.

Furthermore, at around 11.45pm on July 22 four men were seen shining a bright green laser in the Emley mast area.

I cannot stress how serious these thefts of copper cabling are becoming.

People are putting their lives on the line to take this metal for scrap and in doing so are putting the lives of others at risk.

We have seen people horribly burnt and even killed in crimes like these that have taken place in other areas of West Yorkshire.

If the thefts continue, it really is only a matter of time before someone is injured or killed in similar circumstances.

If you know anything at all about any of these crimes I am urging you to contact the police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.