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."
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Antonio Martin shooting: Black teenager may have tried to ambush patrolman, says police officer's lawyer
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Boxing Day snowfall could push even more bargain-hunters online for Christmas sales
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Alex Salmond has 'broken his word to the Scottish people' says Scottish Lib Dem leader
- 1 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public can visit police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Vagina canoe artist facing two years in jail defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
- 5 The Queen’s speech 2014: Recap and Twitter reaction to Game of Thrones reference