Carlisle Security report on work with British Transport Police.
Cable theft is fast becoming one of the most important crimes in the country with the railways being a prime target. To put it into perspective it is now second to terrorism on the British Transport Police’s radar. Some facts and figures relating to cable and metal theft:
? Metal theft is an emerging problem internationally driven by the rising price of metal on world markets. Metal thefts are up nationally by at least 150pc.
? The estimated cost of metal theft to UK industry is £360m a year.
? BTP established Operation Drum two years ago and created a dedicated national squad to combat rail metal theft in September 2007. They and regional officers conduct intelligence-led operations designed to disrupt criminal activity related to rail metal theft.
? Nationally, from 1 January 2008 to mid-April 2008 BTP recorded 637 metal theft offences and arrested 153 people.
? In 2007 BTP recorded 1,928 metal theft offences and arrested 396 people.
Against the backdrop of this one partnership in particular is proving to be more than a match for would be cable-thieves. In the North West British Transport Police have teamed up with Network Rail and private security rail specialists Carlisle Security to reduce the incidence of cable theft by 53.22pc in just 12 months.
Carlisle Security Operations Director Martin Woollam says: "We were delighted to have been selected a year ago by British Transport Police and Network Rail to assist with Operation Drum in the North West. All parties had clearly defined roles and specific skills to bring to the party and this has worked really well."
Two teams of officers from Carlisle Security have been funded by Network Rail and effectively jointly deployed to perform hi profile patrols, gather intelligence from hotspots and local stakeholders to feedback to the British Transport Police Operation Drum team.
"Intelligence was gathered by the officers and fed to the respective parties for analysis. The support and training we have received from the British Transport Police and Network Rail has been first class," Martin adds. " A full week was dedicated to getting the team fully up to speed on the topics of cable theft, signs and methodologies, importance to the economy and perceived hot spots as well as the health and safety aspects of the role."
"The role of the officers has changed from a watch and report brief to a proactive and reactive role heavily led by intelligence – which is a distinctly two way process."
In the first three months of the assignment alone Carlisle Security had provided intelligence on the following;
? 5 new burn sites
? 55 new access points and weak spots to perimeter fences on a variety of locations
? 7 new fly tipping sites
? Conducted high profile patrols to 132 locations across a 118 mile radius
? Filed 300 intelligence reports relating to suspicious vehicles, signs of trespass etc.
This intelligence was used in a number of ways.
Wendy Hayward the Network Rail Project Specialist for the contract said: "Network Rail has created a detailed database of the intelligence provided by Carlisle Security. This has been a core tool for identifying trends and hotspots and briefings for staff. The intelligence has been of a very high quality and we have worked together to fine hone it to maximise its outputs."
Martin added: "Wendy has been fantastic in terms of her hands on approach and support for the officers. She has been on patrol with them many times and sought to understand their role in order to make sure she got the data she wanted and our guys were made to feel part of a team – not just a contractor."
Martin was as glowing in his praise for the British Transport Police: "Glen Lee and Simon Bickley from the BTP have been marvellous with the guys. They have included them in briefings, provided insight and always recognised the teams efforts which has kept motivation and focus high in the project." Martin added, "Glen and Simons passion for the project has been infectious and their personal and professional input has been a key factor of its success."
"The Carlisle Security team has remained focused to the task and has been very well managed by Contract Manager Ray Tallon and Brian Cowley and we are very proud of the whole team."
The results speak for themselves – 53.22 per cent reduction in cable theft with genuine partnership at the heart of its success.