A TRANSPORT company has called on the government to tackle the problem of cable theft on railways.
The Stagecoach Group is seeking the introduction of tough new measures including rules to clamp down on unscrupulous scrap metal merchants.
Company chief executive Sir Brian Souter has written to the minister for crime prevention and anti-social behaviour reduction, seeking support for proposals to target the cable thieves.
It follows a number of recent high-profile cable theft incidents and an overall increase in thefts by a third since 2008.
This is despite a range of industry measures such as burying cables, use of CCTV, special identifiers on cables, invisible marking of cables, securing them in place, the use of alarms and a scrap dealer education programme in partnership with British Transport Police (BTP).
Sir Brian said: ‘The organised theft of metals is having a huge impact on the rail industry and its passengers, as well as on other critical aspects of the national infrastructure.
‘Many rail customers know from bitter personal experience the terrible effect this can have on their daily lives.
‘In June, thousands of our own passengers were severely delayed by a major cable theft incident.
‘As well as the human cost of disruption, criminal activity in this area is now so damaging to our economy that we simply must act.’