Wire thefts ‘cripple’ sports clubs

By Tate Papworth

Frequent copper thefts across Brimbank are taking a heavy toll.

In the past year, there has been a high volume of thefts of copper cabling across the municipality, including three incidences in October, Brimbank council says.

Brimbank infrastructure and city services director Neil Whiteside said the thefts were crippling local sports clubs.

“Many of these copper cabling thefts have occurred at community sports grounds where floodlighting has recently been installed,”
Mr Whiteside said.

“Not only do these thefts come at a significant financial cost to the community – currently over $300,000 in insurance claims have been lodged – they can also heavily impact the amenities and the users of these grounds.

“In some instances, where sports ground lighting has been affected, night training sessions have either been cancelled or last-minute alternative arrangements made.

“Clubs have further been burdened by needing to manage the logistics associated with putting temporary and unexpected arrangements in place and having to let people know of changed circumstances.”

In June,

Star Weekly reported that up to 10 sports clubs had been hit by a spate of copper wire thefts across Melton and Brimbank.

They included wire valued at an estimated $130,000, stolen during seven thefts at sports grounds across Brimbank between August, 2017 and April, 2018.

Mr Whiteside said a number of strategies were being put in place by the council to tackle the problem.

“Since the first incidence of copper cabling theft, council has been working with the police on a number of preventative strategies, including surveillance and the installation of security equipment in an attempt to counter the problem,” he said

“Council will continue to work with the police on deterrents and enforcing tough penalties.”

Mr Whiteside is urging community members to keep an eye out and report suspicious activity to the police or by phoning the council on
9249 4000.