An evaluation of government/law enforcement interventions aimed at reducing metal theft

In January 2015, the UK's Home Office has produced a report - 'An evaluation of government/law enforcement interventions aimed at reducing metal theft'.

Transport Committee launches inquiry into security on the railway

The Transport Committee is launching an inquiry into security on the railway. The purpose of this inquiry is to look at crime and perceptions of crime on the railway and how these can be reduced.

The Committee is particularly interested in:

  • Recent trends in crime and perceptions of crime on the railway
  • What steps train operators and Network Rail are taking to reduce crime and perceptions of crime
  • The role of the British Transport Police in reducing crime, including whether BTP’s current strategic plan is sufficiently challenging and whether the BTP has sufficient resources to deliver the plan
  • Relationships between BTP and train operators and Network Rail, and BTP’s accountability to DfT and to Parliament
  • Collaboration and partnership working between BTP and other police forces and the Home Office

CER - the voice of the railways

There is a need that the Member States, the EU institutions, the sectors affected by metal theft, as well as international bodies get more involved and work more closely together to tackle metal theft.

The only effective response to the problem is the combined implementation of legislative, financial, technical and administrative measures in the context of a close collaboration among public and private sectors. Only a combination of all the measures proposed (legislative, operational and voluntary ones) will help to tackle the problem effectively in the future as the introduction of only some of them always leads to the danger that criminality is simply shifting to another field as criminals always find a way.

Copper Cable Theft: Revisiting the Price−Theft Hypothesis

Objectives: To test the commonly espoused but little examined hypothesis that fluctuations in the price of metal are associated with changes in the volume of metal theft. Specifically, we analyze the relationship between the price of copper and the number of police recorded “live” copper cable thefts from the British railway network (2006 to 2012).

Heritage Crime - the size of the problem

Heritage crime has been defined as any offence which harms the value of England's heritage assets and their settings to this and future generations. There has been growing concern at the risks of crime and anti-social behaviour faced by designated heritage assets, but the true extent of heritage crime had remained difficult to measure.

This study collated and analysed data on damage from criminal behaviour to heritage assets in England. The report provides a review of the data collection procedures undertaken by the study to identify those that are most effective in building understanding of the scale and nature of heritage crime. The report then tries to answer a series of key questions about heritage crime. Finally there are some conclusions and selective recommendations aimed at improving future understanding of heritage crime.

To download a summary of the research paper please click here.

Theft in Price-Volatile Markets: On the Relationship between Copper Price and Copper Theft

The main objective of this document is to examine the relationship between the price of copper and levels of copper theft, focusing specifically on copper cable theft from the British railway network. Results indicated a significant correlation between increases in copper price and copper cable theft. No support was found for rival hypotheses concerning UK unemployment levels and the general popularity of theft as crime type. Another aim was to explore offender modus operandi over time, which is discussed in terms of its implications for preventing copper cable theft. The report closes with a discussion of theft of other commodities in price-volatile markets.

Theft of scrap metal report

The Theft of Scrap Metal report describes the problem of scrap metal theft in the US and reviews factors that increase the risk. It also identifies a series of questions to help other law enforcement agencies to analyse a local metal theft problem. Finally, it reviews the responses to the problem, and what is known about these responses from evaluative research and police practice. 

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