Vandalism at pumping station poses ‘serious risk’

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SERIOUS concerns over public safety have been raised after vital equipment was stolen from a pumping station in the borough.

Thieves damaged fencing surrounding the wastewater pumping station in the Glynn area before making off with equipment that was used to operate the facility. It is understood that the incident took place overnight between Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12.

And a representative from Northern Ireland Water, which is responsible for the site, warned that incidents such as this could be putting local people at risk.

NIW spokesman Gavin McCready said: “While such actions may be considered harmless fun, or a victimless crime, we would like to stress that there are serious risks, not only to those carrying out the break-in, but also to the public and the environment.

“The theft of this equipment could potentially have caused a serious pollution incident. We would appeal to those involved to think about their behaviour and stop immediately. There is also the added risk that young children could enter the site through the vandalised fence, exposing them to serious injury.

“NI Water needs the help and support of the whole community to protect these vital resources and is calling on those engaging in these acts to cease immediately.”

Another NIW representative added that while the value of the stolen equipment may have amounted to hundreds of pounds, the cost of repairing the damage could be considerably more.

“These thieves do not take into account the man hours that go into to replacing this equipment and fixing the damage that has been caused.

“This work creates a needless drain on resources that could be better used to improve services to the local community,” she added.

Larne Lough Councillor Gregg McKeen condemned the incident and told the Times: “Hopefully, police will be able bring whoever was responsible for this theft to book as swiftly as possible. Not only have these thieves put themselves in harm’s way to make a quick buck, they have also endangered local people.

“On top of that, they have also wasted time and resources of NI Water, who now have to repair whatever damage was done.

“This is money that could have been used to enhance local services, but now has to be spent fixing the damage caused by these mindless thieves,” the DUP representative concluded.

To report an incident at any NI Water site, phone Waterline on 08457 440088.