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25 May 2012, 05:44
Fewer train passengers were affected by cable thefts in the Thames Valley last year - despite the same number of attacks being carried out as the year before.
Heart's got hold of figures showing in 2010/2011 there were 5 thefts, costing Network Rail £2.1 million, with more than 2,000 trains affected.
But although there was the same number of thefts in the last financial year, the cost to the company was nearly £150,000 - a reduction of almost 90%. The number of trains delayed fell to 349.
Sam Kelly, from Network Rail, says less critical parts of the network were attacked last year, meaning they had to pay out less in compensation to rail companies for delays;
"We do a huge amount to combat cable theft and work closely with British Transport Police. We spend millions of pounds across the country protecting key locations, we run patrols at cable theft hot spots, areas we know thieves are targeting. We also use a variety of technology as a deterrent"
With the price of copper staying high thieves are still targeting the railway for metal to sell as scrap. Ms Kelly says they are doing all they can but can't do it alone;
"What we really want to see is more stringent measures imposed on the scrap metal industry and we want police to have more powers to close down rogue traders."