Latest Rail News

03.12.12

Legal change to stop cash payments for metal

Cash payments for metal have been banned from today under new laws to tackle cable theft. The crime has hit the railway industry particularly hard, leading to significant delays and costs.

The changes were announced by Home Secretary Theresa May and penalties for those breaking the law have also been increased in amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.

Incidents of railway cable theft have dropped from more than 2,600 in 2011 to under 1,300 so far this year amid a police campaign to tackle the problem. The Association of Chief Police Officers estimates that metal theft costs the UK economy £770m every year.

The Association of Train Operating Companies said: “People in communities across the country are suffering because of cable theft, whether through disruption to train journeys, disabled phone lines or desecrated war memorials.”

British Transport Police deputy chief constable Paul Crowther said: “For several years, metal thieves and unscrupulous metal recyclers have exploited outdated legislation to make profit from criminal activity. This stops now.

“These measures will seriously curtail the market for stolen metal as there will now be a clear audit trail back to those bringing commodities into recycling yards and severe sanctions for those who step out of line.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. BTP

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