RMT warns of travel chaos as soaring copper prices drive cable thefts to record levels

TRANSPORT UNION RMT warned today that the ConDem-led demand for spending cuts is compromising security on the transport system at a time when soaring copper prices have driven cable thefts to record levels - leaving passengers facing huge potential for service disruption and travel chaos.

The British Transport Police have said that they have logged record levels of thefts in the early weeks of this year as copper prices have risen by over 40%. The estimated cost to the taxpayer of thefts from UK infrastructure is £700 million with transport in the front line.

Last month the Central Line was shut down when thieves stole cables and the rail system is facing similar problems.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

"Clearly cutting security and staffing levels is a massive false economy as the cost of thefts escalates to record levels.

"If you haven't got staff out on the tracks, checking fences and security risks on a regular basis, you are giving a green light to the thieves.

"On London Underground the reduction in track inspection frequencies comes at high risk - huge costs to the taxpayers and massive disruption to services as the crime gangs seize their opportunity."

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