Rail chiefs demanded a crackdown on copper thieves today after tens of thousands of commuters suffered travel chaos.Which presumably upset the RMT no end, since they see disrupting the commuter’s day as their job…
Criminals stole copper signalling cable at London Bridge overnight. Southern Rail and First Capital Connect had to cancel and divert trains, with long delays getting into the capital.
Thousands coming from Sussex suffered after a second cable theft at Littlehampton.
FCC, which runs Thameslink, and Southern were running a reduced timetable and some trains were not stopping at London Bridge.It appears that the rail companies are finally getting fed up with the lackadaisical response from the justice system:
The thefts are the latest in a series to hit the industry, and Network Rail is demanding a change in the law dealing with them. It wants much harsher penalties, including long jail terms, and it is calling for those who buy the stolen cable to be targeted, as well as the thieves themselves.It’s about time…
NR says some current penalties can be as little as "a slap on the wrist". It is touring courts to persuade magistrates of the seriousness of the offences.Good luck with that!
However, this made me wonder about this story:
Hundreds of lives are being put at risk as reckless thieves are stealing vital firefighting equipment.The police seem to be regarding it as mindless vandalism, but is it perhaps the same criminal groups?
The thefts of the dry risers at Brooke House in Basildon town centre could mean firefighters are unable to fight a blaze on one of the building’s higher floors.It doesn’t seem as if this has occurred to the police, however:
In recent months thieves have repeatedly stolen or damaged the risers.
They are metal pipes locked in secure cases which allow firefighters to connect their hoses and pump water from the ground floor to the higher storeys.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “We will investigate any reported incidents of damage or theft of dry risers.Perhaps you should look for the missing metal risers in the nearest dodgy scrapyard?
“The people responsible for this may see it as criminal damage. However, it could have very serious consequences for the residents.”