Cable thefts lead to rise in railway crime

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 June 2011

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CABLE thefts from railway lines in the West Country have increased dramatically, according to the British Transport Police (BTP).

The rising price of copper and other metals on world markets is resulting in some people stealing the cables, the authority says.

Recorded theft numbers rose from 706 in 2009/10 to 873 in 2010/11 in the Wales and Western area, up 24 per cent,

The area, which covers Wales, the South West of England and West Midlands, also saw thefts of passenger property increase 15 per cent.

Overall, crime on the region’s railways rose by 3.3 per cent, in contrast to a 2.9 per cent fall nationally.

BTP Chief Constable Andy Trotter said: “Cable theft is a real challenge for us, the rail industry and other utilities.

“The metal thefts cause significant disruption to rail services and that means real consequences for real people - missed business meetings, family celebrations and appointments for instance.

“That’s not to mention the huge financial costs to the rail industry and the dangers to the thieves themselves.”

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