Cable burning is a crime.
Cable burning removes plastic and other insulation materials from the cable, to recover the metal. The metal is taken to a scrap metal merchant and sold.
It is commonly found that cables have been stolen due to the increasing demand for recycled metals such as copper.
Cable burning often takes place in unattended fires. This can create a fire safety risk to those who come in close contact, due to the explosive nature of the metals and associated electrical components.
What harm can it cause
People carrying out cable burning are not the only ones in danger.
The local community is also at risk due to the release of harmful substances such as dioxins, heavy metal and other forms of toxic pollutants that can lead to health issues such as -
- heavy metal poisoning
- damage to the nervous system
- kidney or lung infection
- inflammation or heart related problems
Landowners affected by people carrying out cable burning on their land are responsible for clearing any wastes associated with this activity and should take steps to prevent persons from entering the land.
Report cable burning
If you see someone burning cable you can report this to us using the form below.
We investigate reports against people responsible for cable burning, so long as we can identify and locate the person responsible.
If you witnessed persons burning cable, we will ask you to provide a witness statement. If you have CCTV footage, images or videos of this activity taking place, please keep this safe until we contact you. If you are unwilling to provide a witness statement, this may prevent enforcement action being able to be taken.
Any information we ask you to provide, will only be used to help us to take action against the person responsible. If you confirm you have photos or video footage, please keep this safe as you will be asked to provide this once you have completed this form.
If you find a fire and you do not know who is responsible for the burning of any cable and you have safety concerns, please contact Humberside Fire and Rescue.
If you witness people burning cable and the dark smoke from this activity is drifting across any road and you feel this is endangering traffic, you should report this to Humberside Police on 101 (non-emergency number).
Under the Clean Air Act 1993 it makes it an offence for any person to burn insulation from a cable, with a view to recovering metal -
- prosecution and a maximum penalty of £5,000
People carrying out this activity may also commit further offences associated with this activity, which may result in one or more of the following forms of enforcement action –
- £400 fixed penalty
- recovery of clean up costs - this may include costs to repair damage caused to the highway or public land
- prosecution and an unlimited fine, imprisonment for up to two years, or both