NO RAIL ESCAPE FOR CABLE THIEVES: Caught on camera at Bishop Aukland_001

Monday 27 Sep 2010


Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

The sentencing of Swansea cable thieves - Brendan Ceri Buckley (28) and Neil Donald Payne (29) – today will send a stark warning to anyone considering stealing cables from the railway, says Network Rail. 

Both men will be sentenced at the Crown Court today after pleading guilty to putting people's safety at risk by cutting and removing signalling cable at a railway track in Jersey Marine.  They have also both admitted stealing 80metres of 650 volt signalling cable belonging to Network Rail on July 15 this year.

In response to cable thefts on the railway, Network Rail is working with the British Transport Police, toughening its act in preventing cable thefts by stepping up surveillance with covert actions and tightening security. 

Last year, cable thefts in south Wales alone cost nearly 50,000 minutes of delays and the industry around £2m.

Mark Langman, area general manger for Wales, Network Rail said: “We are not letting cable thieves get off easily.  The theft of cable is a constant drain on our resources and cause of considerable disruption to rail users. It is not a victimless crime and is not acceptable.

“We are working with our colleagues at the train operating companies and the British Transport Police on a number of ways to tackle thieves, including covert surveillance, helicopter patrols and putting up fences, but we need help from local people too.

“It’s your railway – help us keep services running reliably by reporting anyone you see acting suspiciously or let the police know of any information you have about people committing these crimes.”

Detective Constable Chris Bolton of the British Transport Police said: "Stealing railway cable is incredibly dangerous.  Not only does it present severe dangers to those who trespass on the line, who are putting their lives at risk, it also causes real headaches for passengers in terms of delays or disruptions to services.

“BTP will continue to seek methods of detecting and preventing cable theft and will endeavour to secure prosecutions on every occasion.  I hope that other cable thieves will take note of the sentence that has been imposed by the court in this case and realise that cable-related crime can have harsh judicial penalties." 

Network Rail, in partnership with the charity Crimestoppers, is offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information which leads to the conviction of railway cable thieves. Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Notes to editors

Prior to the theft on 15 July, there were four other incidents near Jersey Marine.  These crimes have cost more than 2,700 minutes of delays and the railway nearly £52k.  The BTP and Network Rail are still trying to trace those who were responsible and are urging the public to come forward if they have information on the following incidents -

9 May 2010 - 200 yards of copper cable was stolen, causing 13 trains to be cancelled or part-cancelled.
21 June 2010 - 40 metres of signalling cable was stolen
11 July 2010 - 75 metres of 650 Volt Signalling cable was stolen
12 July 2010 - 75 metres of 650 Volt Signalling cable was stolen

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