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Burton crackdown helps cut railway crime

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 26, 2014

By Rob Smyth

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A SERIES of major operations to tackle railway related crime across Burton have resulted in a major fall in incidents.

British Transport Police (BTP) today revealed crime dropped by six per cent during 2013-14.

This included a massive 37 per cent plunge in theft of cable from the railway lines that traverse the area.

Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: "The initiatives and operations which have made such an impact during the past 12 months really highlight the advantage our specialist knowledge brings to the railway.

"By working with the rail companies and passengers, we are able to truly understand the challenges they face and devise innovative solutions to tackle those problems."

In 2012 theft of passenger property was highlighted by both passengers and train operators as a growing concern at Burton Railway Station.

In response, officers ran several special operations to tackle the theft of passenger property, such as presents and bags, from the town during the next few weeks.

Officers were also be on the lookout for those who were acting antisocially, while ensuring that rail staff were not subjected to abuse or assault.

Chief Con Crowther added: "We have led the way in combating theft and there can be little doubt that Operation Magnum has had the desired effect.

"During 2013-14 we also continued to spearhead efforts to tackle metal and cable theft both on the railway, and in other sectors, through the national metal theft taskforce – bringing about a 37 per cent fall in railway cable theft which, in turn, significantly reduced delays and disruption.

"Again, our specialist knowledge and close understanding of the issue allowed us to not only tackle the thieves at the point of the crime, but also to help the push for a change in legislation.

"We were instrumental in helping to craft the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act which has levelled the playing field for legitimate scrap metal recyclers and brought legislation into the 21st century."

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