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News round-up / Police appeal, Lerwick power solution, fishermen’s frustration, scam advice

POLICE are looking for people who may have witnessed a person breaking into an empty and unoccupied property within Rudda Court in Lerwick.

The housebreaking is understood to have taken place any time between Wednesday lunchtime and 8am on Friday. Nothing was taken.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Lerwick Police Station on telephone 101.

Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD), the company tasked with securing Shetland’s energy future once the Lerwick power station ceases operation by 2025, has offered to pay £251 million towards the proposed 600MW subsea cable that would be built should the proposed Viking Energy wind farm secures government subsidy.

SHEPD said on Friday that sharing the cable with renewable energy producers on the islands would be around £140 million cheaper than any other alternative.

Energy regulator Ofgem already rejected two earlier SHEPD proposals on how to replace the Lerwick power station in a cost effective manner.

The now proposed ‘whole system’ solution offers the potential to meet Shetland’s dual energy needs of securing its future security of supply and providing Shetland developers with export opportunity by improving the economics of the proposed transmission link, Colin Nicol of SHEPD said.

If this proposal is successful, SHEPD will have to provide a back-up solution to ensure security of supply.

The company added that if the recommendation was not accepted and Shetland developers were unsuccessful in this year’s contract for difference auction, then an alternative solution – estimated to cost more than £400 million – would be required.

SHETLAND Fishermen’s Association has urged decision makers to listen to the industry rather than rely on computer models after spawning stock biomass estimates for mackerel in the northeast Atlantic were adjusted upwards.

ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, had initially indicated a biomass of 2.35 million tonnes, resulting in the fishery losing the valuable MSC sustainability accreditation.

ICES have now adjusted the spawning stock biomass by more than 75 per cent to 4.2 million tonnes.

SFA executive officer Simon Collins said: “We warned governments repeatedly that the science was way out of step with what our guys were seeing daily on the fishing grounds.

“But instead of ensuring that the scientists could carried out meaningful observations at sea, they relied on algorithms.

“The decisions made in response to these wholly inaccurate desktop computer models have played havoc with markets and with livelihoods, and it is not the first time that this has happened.

“We are sick and tired of the continued use of this evidently flawed process.”

THE LOCAL trading standards team is reminding people to be aware of scams after hearing reports of bogus phone calls and texts being received across the isles.

Team leader David Marsh said: “Lots of folk are getting phone calls telling them that their internet connection is about to be switched off, there are text messages claiming to be able to help you claim a refund on your car tax or council tax, and then there are doorstep callers offering to pressure wash your roof or drive.

“Scammers will contact you out of the blue with all kinds of stories about who they are, what they can help you with, and how much it will cost – and the best response to any of these approaches is to have nothing to do with them.

“If you’re unsure, talk it over with a family member or friend – or you can check with us at trading standards, by phoning 01595 744887 (but if you feel threatened by someone at your door, then dial 999 and speak to Police Scotland).”

There is also plenty of advice and information available online such as  People can report any scam using the online tool at or by phone on 0300 123 2040.