08 July 2008

Brits suffer from metal theft

For a long time South Africans have suffered from metal thieves. A few months ago we were without electricity for two days, not because of Eskom load shedding, but because of cable theft.

Twenty years ago the aluminium railings were nicked from a railway bridge down the road, over four separate nights, and no one heard a thing. Cell phones have mitigated the inconvenience of telephone cable theft, but it can still disrupt Internet access. And many have been late for work because of the theft of railway signal cables.

Now, it seems, the Brits are suffering from the same problem. Will it rile up even the phlegmatic Brits so much that they'll start burning railway carriages and stations when the trains are late?
clipped from news.sky.com
Police have launched a nationwide crackdown on the soaring trend of metal theft which is said to cost the economy £360 million every year.
It comes after five men were questioned in Plymouth over the theft of four bronze war memorial plaques.
Theft of all metal has risen on average 150% in the last two years with signalling cable, bronze statues, drain hole covers and metal from church and school roofs targeted frequently.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Crowther, British Transport Police, said: "The increasing price of metal in overseas markets over the last four years has led to an increase in theft of metals in the UK for its scrap value.

"This is far from being a victimless crime. Thousands of people have seen their community facilities stolen or damaged by thieves looking for a quick gain, or have suffered service disruption to railways and telecoms."

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Can Bass 1 said...

My dear sir, the trains are always late here. We wouldn't know the difference!

Adam Gonnerman said...

Last week I heard a report about how manhole covers (I don't know what they're called outside North America) are getting stolen at dramatically rising rates here in the U.S. When I lived in Brazil I heard a lot of stories of stolen metal infrastructure, including coppper power cables.

Miss Eagle said...

Please add Melbourne, Australia to the list where metal theft from the railway lines has been going on for some time. Some well organised thieves have been charged but as far as I know have not gone to trial yet. Believe they were caught with a shipping container full of stuff ready to go overseas. Don't know if the arrests have ended the problem because there was some theft just after the arrests but haven't heard of any since then. Some people seemed to think that the thieves had assistance with inside knowledge. The people doing this seem to be organised - so a new form of organised crime?

Blessings and bliss

Steve Hayes said...

White South African racists who long for the "good old days" of apartheid see such crimes as evidence that South Africa is becoming a "third-world" country, not realising that such crimes take place in the First and Second Worlds too,

The benefits of globalisation!


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