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Hartlebury rail cable theft helps prompt hunt for offenders
6:10am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
DELAYS for more than 100 trains as a result of cable theft on the railway at Hartllebury have helped prompt a campaign to track down the criminals.
Network Rail and British Transport Police (BTP) are appealing for help in finding the thieves following a spate of incidents actoss the West Midlands.
Over the past year, thieves have struck more than 40 times across the region, causing more than 36,000 delay minutes to trains and passengers. The Hartlebury incident, on October 12, saw 103 trains delayed.
Network Rail route managing director Dyan Crowther said: “We are working closely with British Transport Police to reduce cable theft on the railway and our efforts over the last few years have seen a marked drop in both the number of cable theft incidents and the resulting delays to passengers “However, when cable theft does happen, it is incredibly frustrating for our customers who are affected by the disruption. Cable theft is a serious criminal act and I would urge anyone sees anything suspicious or knows people who may be responsible to contact British Transport Police.”
Det Insp John Pyke of BTP added: "The theft of cable is not just an attack on the railway - it has a direct impact on the day-to-day lives of thousands of passengers, with trains delayed or cancelled as a result of cable theft.
“BTP has a dedicated team of officers working throughout the West Midlands to tackle this type of crime. We are also catching and prosecuting more cable thieves than ever before. However, this crime still poses a serious threat to the railway infrastructure and we will not become complacent.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on freefone 0800 40 50 40. Alternatively, information can be passed to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111.
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