Page last updated at 07:00 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 08:00 UK

Cable theft rail delays reduced

BTP helicopter
Helicopter patrols are a regular sight on the East Coast rail route

High-visibility patrols and new technology have helped to reduce delays to rail passengers caused by cable thefts on the East Coast Main Line.

Figures from Network Rail show delays on the route fell from 205,000 minutes in 2006/07 to 151,000 in 07/08.

The route is regularly monitored by helicopter patrols and by remote control airborne CCTV devices.

British Transport Police (BTP) said combating cable thefts was second only to tackling terrorism on the railways.

Reducing disturbance

Dyan Crowther, route director for Network Rail, said: "The theft of metal, including lead from roofs and electrical supply cable, is a global issue being faced by a large number of industries.

"The fact that the investments we are making in both our people and technical devices is reducing the disturbance to passengers and the number of incidents of cable theft shows that it is money well spent."

Det Ch Insp Danny Snee from BTP added: "For British Transport Police, combating cable theft across Britain's rail system remains second only to terrorism.

"We are using every method at our disposal to tackle this type of crime."

Network Rail said the actions of cable criminals cost it about 10m a year, which includes the cost of security patrols and detection measures such as CCTV.


SEE ALSO
Reward to capture cable thieves
14 Sep 07 |  Cumbria
Cable thieves stop rail services
20 Aug 07 |  England

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