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Network Rail reduces cable theft by 55%

Author: Matthew Grimley/14 September 2016/Categories: Case Studies, Asset and Property Marking

In 2009, cable thefts were estimated to be costing Network Rail and UK taxpayers up to £16m  a year, causing significant delays and disruptions to the network. The London to North West (LNW) mainline was being particularly badly hit by cable thieves, resulting in delay minutes totalling 119,540.

Despite being highly skilled at building and maintaining railways, there was an acceptance within Network Rail that the knowledge required to successfully influence criminal activity on the railway fell outside of their skillset. Invaluable assistance was, and continues to be, provided by British Transport Police (BTP), but a lack of traceable evidence (the means to link cable thieves to the crime) often made it difficult for the police to prosecute offenders. Criminals quickly became all too aware of this, which perpetuated the problem. 

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