Air rifle used to cut power

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POWER to about 1,500 homes and businesses was cut off after an air rifle was used to cause damage to overhead equipment.

The electricity supply to properties in the SR3 postcode of Sunderland, which largely covers the Silksworth area, was cut off on Sunday.

The first reports of problems were made to Northern Powergrid just after 5.50am.

Streets affected by the issues included Tunstall Villas, Silksworth Lane and Nursery Lane.

Investigations carried out by engineers found a porcelain insulator on an overhead network had been damaged nearby.

It is believed it was put out of action by someone firing pellets from an air rifle to at the pole.

The engineers rerouted the network to restore power to the customers by 10am.

Northern Powergrid has apologised for any inconvenience caused to families and businesses by the problems.

It plans to carry out repairs to the damaged kit over the coming days, but it says that repair work should not have any impact on supply in the area.

Anyone with information about the culprit responsible for causing the damage is asked to pass on details to police on 101 ext 69191 or cto all Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.