Feeds

Cable thieves cost UK rail £15m a year

Six attacks a day

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Copper thieves are costing Network Rail £15m a year and causing 6,000 hours of delays.

In the last three years the thefts have cost £43m, and last year attacks went up 52 per cent to an average of six a day.

In 2010/2011 there were almost 1,000 cable thefts at a cost of £16.5m. But British Transport Police, which now has a dedicated cable theft team, made more than 900 arrests. The cables, used to control signals and points, are then sold on as scrap copper.

There were 995 incidents on the network in 2010/2011, which caused 365,265 minutes of delay and cost Network Rail £12.1m in compensation. The total cost of the crimes was £16.5m.

Including thefts of non-functioning cables from depot yards and engineering works, there were 3,116 incidents in 2010/2011. Of these 1,184 were in the North East and 632 in the Wales and Western area.

As well as working with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Network Rail is also using motion-sensors, trembler alarms and hidden cameras to catch the thieves. It is also introducing cable which can be marked in such a way that it is identified as Network Rail's property.

Dyan Crowther, director, operational services at Network Rail, said: "These criminal acts have to stop ... I cannot over-emphasise just how serious these crimes are. Cable thieves deny passengers the service they rightly expect and, through the massive cost to the industry, deny everyone improvements to rail services."

The detailed numbers of copper thefts can be downloaded here.

Anyone with information about cable thefts could be line for a £1,000 reward for talking to British Transport Police. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.