Cable theft and a broken down train cause rush hour commuter chaos
London's rush hour commuters were subjected to major disruption today after thieves stole more than 100 metres of cable from a line of Hertfordshire.
The 25,000 volt cable was cut and stolen overnight, bringing morning peak-time services into Liverpool Street station to a standstill.
Detective Inspector Terry Pearce, of British Transport Police's dedicated cable theft team, said: "Theft of cable can, and does, cause significant delays and cancellations to the rail industry - as well as costing the industry millions of pounds each year.
"What thieves don't realise is that they're attempting to steal cable carrying up to 25,000 volts. Not only are they risking a court appearance, they're also risking their lives."
The theft was reported after a train driver happened to spot the length of cable was missing. Hertford Branch Line services were fully suspended while repairs were carried out.
Once services resumed, commuters heading into the capital were hit by further delays after a train broke down in Chelmsford. Disruption lasted throughout the morning peak.
British Transport Police are working with National Rail and a host of government agencies on a series of UK-wide raids on scrap metal merchants in a bid to catch cable thieves.
Recent figures revealed a near seven-fold increase in cable theft and related incidents on Tube lines, and a three-and-a-half-fold rise across the UK mainline rail network.
Bob Crow, leader of The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, said: "Yet again rail services are disrupted due to the continuing scourge of cable theft."
He repeated his demands for profits from the rail operators to be diverted "into providing the staffing and security levels required to stop this lethal criminality on the tracks."
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis