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Catching the copper thieves

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

The high price of scrap metal and the inflated value of copper cable has led to a dramatic rise in so-called ‘cable crime’. The figures speak for themselves – copper was worth around $2000/tonne in 2004 and is now worth almost $7000/tonne. In the same period British Transport Police report a huge increase in copper thefts from railways from around 100 incidents in 2004 to nearly 2000 in 2007. Network Rail estimate its cost of replacing stolen cable at £4 million in 2007 and the electricity industry put the figure at £3 million for 2007.
Energy, rail and telecoms industries are all now highly vulnerable to this copper crime wave. But at many of the locations from where the cable is stolen it is not always possible or cost effective to install the usual deterrent of CCTV. However there are alternatives to the conventional wired CCTV systems. Companies like Tag Guard have pioneered the development of wireless CCTV and specialist wireless alarm systems. These are ideally suited to the very same locations where cable is stored (or simply left lying around) while work is in progress.
Richard Lang, Managing Director of Tag Guard Ltd, comments, “We are seeing a significant increase in enquiries from a whole variety of organisations that have experienced theft of copper cable and other metal based raw materials by criminals that literally want to cash in on their high value.
“With many of the locations where these crimes occur it is simply not practical or would be cost prohibitive to install conventional wired CCTV; an effective alternative is a system like our wireless TagCam that functions in exactly the same way as conventional CCTV but without the need for cabling. In many instances it can be integrated with our wireless TagAlarm to further enhance the deterrent and detection impact.
“With a wireless system the absence of cabling provides clear benefits – it is much easier and simpler to install, no phone lines are required and it can be redeployed in any new location giving major reductions in overall security costs.
“Apart from the proven deterrent effect of CCTV, we back the system up with our 24-hour central monitoring service and can react instantly to any incident alerting on-site security, mobile patrols or the police”.
For further information visit: www.tag-guard.com

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