Investigation launched after cable thefts cause "huge disruption"

Reporter:

David Humphreys

An investigation has been launched after cable thefts caused “huge disruption” to commuters.

British Transport Police is appealing for information after criminals attempted to steal cable from the railway line in Mostyn, affecting trains and delaying passengers in the area.

The incident took place on Wednesday last week near Mostyn Docks and resulted in an immediate loss of power across the area’s rail network.

Three men were spotted cutting cable at about 10.15pm but ran off after they were disturbed by a rail worker.

A few minutes later they emerged from bushes near the disused Lletty Hotel on the A548 and got into a white transit van and drove off.

Sgt Gemma Jones said: “There have been a few failed attempts at stealing cable in the area in recent weeks, and we have had one confirmed theft in the past few days.

“The incident at Mostyn, in particular, caused huge disruption to passengers, especially people making their way to work on Thursday morning, and resulted in serious financial implications for the rail industry.

“We are doing all we can to catch those responsible for these criminal attacks.

“Directed patrols are being carried out across the area – including officers patrolling on foot, in vehicles and with police dogs – to catch and deter criminals, and we also work closely with North Wales Police to gather intelligence on suspects.

“While we are currently investigating a number of leads, I would like to urge members of the public to be vigilant and report any information, including suspicious people or vehicles near the railway, which may help prevent these crimes taking place and help us catch those responsible.

“Railway cable is of no real value to anyone outside the railway industry yet the cost to replace it is extremely high – a cost that will undoubtedly be passed back to passengers in some form.

“This is especially true here in North Wales, where the copper content in railway cable is negligible, so even a big haul would not reap financial rewards for thieves.

“The railway is also a dangerous environment, and anyone who attempts to steal cable risks serious injury – or even death – through electrocution, so it really isn’t worth the risk.”

Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail Wales, said: “Cable theft is not a victimless crime – far from it.

“Train delays and cancellations directly affect people going about their daily lives, such as getting to and from work, visiting family and travelling to hospital appointments.

“Trespassing on the railway is extremely dangerous. We want everyone home safe every day and we continually look for ways to protect the network from thieves, working with British Transport Police to prosecute anyone caught carrying out metal thefts.”

Anyone with any information about this incident can call British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text us on 61016 quoting reference 602 of September 6, 2017. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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