Did you know that cable theft on the railway network costs millions of pounds every year? Thieves target the valuable metal on the railways, such as signalling cables, metal fences and overhead power lines. They sell this metal for scrap.
The cost to the economy is even higher, because stolen cables cause delays of freight deliveries to supermarkets and power stations as well as causing passengers to miss work and appointments. Whenever a cable is cut, the trains come to a standstill to protect the passengers. This will cause irritating and time consuming delays while the problem is fixed. Because the funding for this comes from the government, these thefts are costing the taxpayer money.
What is Being Done?
What is already being done to combat this problem and what can we do to help? First of all, police are letting people know that if they see any suspicious behaviour near the train tracks that they should report it to the British Transport Police.
Also, Network Rail is looking into new ways of securing cables and using forensic marking agents so that stolen cables can be tracked down and returned. They are also developing ideas for new types of cables that are harder to steal and much easier to identify. They are also currently working to set up dedicated security teams.
In addition to this Network Rail, along with other essential infrastructure providers have successfully lobbied the Government to introduce the “Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 2013”. According to this act, all scrap metal dealers must have a license and police have the power to close any scrap yard that is unlicensed. A public national register of scrap metal details has been created to verify the identity of legitimate dealers. Anyone who is selling metal must show their ID and it is illegal to trade scrap metal for cash. This discourages the illegal trade of scrap metal and will make it a lot more difficult for thieves to sell what they have stolen.
How Tag Guard Helps
The security company Tag Systems has developed a solution to help with the theft of valuable cables from the railway network. Working together with Network Rail and the British Transport Police, Tag Systems has created custom designed wireless CCTV and alarm systems that will combat these thefts.
This style of CCTV functions just like a conventional CCTV system, but being wireless there is no need for cabling. It can be integrated with a wireless alarm system and hidden within a cable reel. Because there are no wires to install, the system is very simple and can be deployed very quickly in any location. This innovation has resulted in major reductions in the overall security costs associated with the railway network. The 24/7 CCTV means that police or on-site security can react instantly to any incident.
This new innovative security solution is helping to improve the quality of security on the railways and ensure that cable theft does not waste taxpayer’s money.