YOUTHS have risked death while setting light to an electrical sub-station at Swinton.
Residents say a gang of young people has claimed the high-voltage sub-station, on Grange Road, using it as their own gathering spot.
Locals say they have been seen drinking, littering and on one occasion even setting fire to the roof of the sub-station, which distributes electricity to 288 customers in the area.
Town councillor John Doyle slammed the stupidity and warned the kids are taking their lives in their hands.
He said: “It is extremely dangerous – there are cables inside which carry lethal levels of electricity.
“These kids are taking a huge risk by messing about with something so dangerous.
“I would urge them to stay away from sub-stations all together.
“I would also like to appeal to parents to make sure they know where their children are at night.”
Sub-station operators, CE Electric UK, said a survey will soon be undertaken to evaluate what measures can be put in place to deter vandals – including installing a gate to prevent access.
Paul Norton, Head of Safety for CE Electric UK, said: “These vandals are lucky to get away, seemingly without injury.
“Our message to the vandals is simple: ‘Danger of death’ signs are on our sub-stations for a reason... you are risking your lives through your thoughtless actions.
“We are asking local residents and especially parents to be vigilant of any suspicious behaviour and to contact the police or ourselves immediately.”
The local police team recently made the issue a priority, and conducted extra evening patrols.
Officers also cleaned litter from the area and council wardens issued five Fixed Penalty Notices to school kids caught littering on their lunch break.