UPDATE: Compensation doesn’t cover cost of problems caused by Rainham cable thieves, say residents

Rainham residents have slammed the offer of compensation to cover the costs of their broken appliances and equipment caused by cable thieves.

Cable stolen from an electrical substation on Rothbury Avenue on Thursday caused almost 300 homes to experience a power surge – damaging electrical appliances throughout surrounding roads.

Power distribution company UK Power Networks arranged for work to be carried out on residents’ boilers, and is offering households a goodwill payment of �200 each.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: “We are very sorry that customers were inconvenienced after a break-in and damage, and recognise that electrical appliances have been damaged.

“The cause was beyond our reasonable control: as a result UK Power Networks has no liability for the interruption in the supply of electricity, nor for damage to any electrical appliance, other property or any other losses.

“We are advising anyone who suffered losses to follow this up with their insurer, and have provided written confirmation of the power cut to support any claims.”

But many residents are angry that the payment will hardly cover the costs of their problems.

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Dave Cummings, of Beechwood Gardens, said: “Two hundred pounds won’t even cover the cost of my stereo.”

Pat Batchelor, of Rothbury Ave, said: “It’s up to them to get better security. They could put up a CCTV camera there, that would cost a lot less than paying out for repairs.”

Chris Egginton, also of Rothbury Ave, said: “Insurance excesses and a weekly shop is around �150 each, �200 is not going to cover it.”

But residents aren’t forgetting that the problem was caused by thieves.

A UK Power Networks spokesman said: “UK Power Networks takes incidents like this very seriously. Safety is of paramount importance and we would like to warn that anyone entering a substation, other than our own trained engineers, is risking their lives and the lives of others.”

Mr Cummings said: “They took a few bits around a fiver. They risked their lives for that?”

Mrs Lawlor, of Brookway, said: “I think it’s disgusting, nobody has respect for anything nowadays. All this trouble just for a few pounds.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Romford police on 101.

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