A hospital has faced nearly two weeks of power cuts after suspected scrap metal thieves ripped out valuable copper wiring.

Derelict buildings at the sprawling Harperbury Hospital site, in Harper Lane, Radlett, have repeatedly been targeted by thieves in recent months.

A source at the hospital site said that a number of decommissioned buildings had been targeted by intruders, who have reportedly dodged security measures to take tiles and lead from the roofs and other precious materials from inside.

He explained: “People have been coming in night after night stripping stuff out. There’s a lot of valuable things in there so it’s an attractive target.”

The spate of thefts, however, took a more serious turn on Saturday, May 1, when valuable copper wiring was stolen from underneath the buildings, causing power circuits to trip around the site, which is used to treat people with mental health problems.

Hospital spokeswoman Helen Bond confirmed this had happened again on the night of Wednesday, May 5, forcing the installation of a temporary generator to sustain power to some of the older buildings at the site – including the management centre.

Mrs Bond said: “Care for our service users has not been affected as the newer buildings at Harperbury have independent power supplies.

"However we have had some problems with the power supply to the older buildings, and with telephone connections to the newer buildings because the management centre is on the old part of the site system.”

Asked to confirm whether copper theft had caused the outages, Mrs Bond added: “We believe this to be the case, although this is currently under investigation.”

Hertfordshire Constabulary said it had arrested and charged two men in connection with a theft at the site on May 6.

They are James Cross, 21, of Frowyke Way, South Mimms, and Frankie Allen-Price, 21, of Hatfield Road, Potters Bar.