Essex: Metal Theft Cancels Hundreds Of Trains

More than 100 trains have been cancelled this year due to metal theft, which has also led to more than 3,000 minutes of delays.

That compares to 37 cancelled trains and 667 minutes of delays in 2010.

The c2c railway, which serve people in Southend, Benfleet and Rayleigh, have gathered figures on how copper theft from overhead power equipment and signalling has grown at an alarming rate this year.

To try to put a stop to this a new All-Party Parliamentary Group has been set up and holds it's first meeting today (Wednesday December 7th).

Castle Point's MP, Rebecca Harris, is one of many to join the group. She has been telling Heart: "This is not a victimless crime, far from it! Stripping cabling from rail lines actually puts train drivers and their passengers' lives at risk.

"It also causes huge problems for the travelling public who reply on the rail service whether it's to get to work or medical and other appointments such as job interviews.

"These criminals need to know they will be caught and punished, they also need to know how strongly the public feel about this particular crime."

The Group is supported by The Energy Networks Association which represents the electricity and gas network companies.

They have recently announced that they are suffering 700 thefts a month and that at least six people have already been killed this year as a result of metal theft.

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