INNOCENT lives are being put at serious risk by thieves targeting overhead power lines, the electricity board has said.

Thieves have made off with 1.1km of overhead cable in South Hiendley and Cawthorne in the last few weeks - leaving 223 properties without electricity.

Electric distributor Northern Powergrid has teamed up with the police and is appealing to anyone who may have seen suspicious activity to come forward.

Mick Hickling, Head of Network Repairs at Northern Powergrid, said: "Thieves are showing complete disregard for people's safety to steal cable with relatively little financial value.

"The cost of the repair isn't our primary concern, it’s the significant risk to public life that worries us most of all.

"Our power lines are over public land and cross footpaths and roads, so the potential danger to safety is significant."

If you have any information you're urged to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

"One phone call could save someone's life," Mick added.