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."
Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
- 2 Isis release 'Flames of War' video warning Obama of attacks troops could face in Iraq
- 3 Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
- 4 Say yes to 'no-poo': It's been three years since I stopped washing my hair