Rail industry representatives yesterday urged the government to take cable theft seriously and take tough measures to reduce the disruptive effects of the crime.
Representatives from Network Rail, the Association of Train operating Companies (ATOC) and the British Transport Police (BTP) told a meeting of the Transport Select Committee that cable theft costs tens of millions of pounds and last year affected 4M passenger journeys.
The industry representatives called for tough new measures that would help to reduce disruption to passengers caused by cable theft. Network Rail director of operational services Dyan Crowther said that despite the company’s efforts cable theft rates continued to rise.
“We believe that the only way to significantly reduce metal crime is to take away the illegal market and that more robust legislation and police powers are needed to achieve that,” he said.