METAL thieves in Barnsley are putting their lives at risk by climbing pylons to steal.
The dangerous offending was revealed by a senior South Yorkshire detective after a new police crackdown on metal theft.
DCI Sean Middleton said criminals scaling live electricity pylons looking for metal to steal were risking their lives.
“We need to identify those involved in metal theft throughout the Barnsley area. This type of offending causes a great deal of disruption and incurs significant expenses for all the community.
“Recently officers investigated reports of metal theft from overhead pylons, which can be extremely dangerous for those involved.
“People involved in this type of crime cause disruption and put themselves at risk by climbing live overhead pylons.”
He spoke out at the end of the week-long Operation Banner. Police stopped vans and lorries travelling through the town in the hope of finding criminals carrying stolen goods or trading without correct permits and licences.
Officers stopped 118 vehicles and issued six fixed penalty notices for vehicle defects.
Ten vehicles were seized and 11 arrests were made for offences including metal theft, assault and non-payment of fines.
Insp Gill Blake, of South Yorkshire Police, who led the operation, said: “Operation Banner was a great success.
“We will continue to take action against metal theft and similar operations will be occurring regularly.
“We want to get the message across that if offenders come into Barnsley they will be stopped and have their documents checked and be dealt with robustly by us and appropriate agencies.”