British Transport Police increase patrols after ‘mindless attacks’ in Allington and Ancaster

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BRITISH Transport Police have increased patrols in the area after ‘mindless attacks’ on the railway.

Cable thieves targeted the line at Ancaster and Allington on separate occasions, two days apart.

The first theft, of approximately 475m of cable, took place overnight on Sunday, August 5 near Ancaster Signal Box.

The signalman discovered the crime at 6am the next morning when he noticed cut cable and broken troughing lids next to the track.

Police believe that thieves accessed the track at the road crossing next to the signal box after 10.15pm. A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Luckily the cable was waiting to be connected so the theft didn’t impact on train services in the area.”

The second theft took place on Tuesday, August 7 at 9.20pm. Approximately 500 metres of cable was stolen from a line side location near Allington Signal Box.

PC Steve Hopwood of British Transport Police’s dedicated metal theft squad said: “In both crimes, which took place within approximately 25 miles of each other, the troughing lids were cut and removed, and the cable cut and stolen.

“We have launched an investigation into both incidents, which we believe may be linked. Our officers have been visiting scrap yards in the area to monitor any cable which is being brought in where, with assistance from railway and telecoms experts, we can quickly identify stolen cable. Most cable thieves look for the quickest way to sell on the stolen goods – scrap yards are one such method.”

The transport police are also looking into a cable theft near Rutland Water on July 27.

PC Hopwood added: “This crime also had a number of similarities to the Lincolnshire offences, the line being accessed from a foot crossing, the cable stolen overnight and heavy duty tools used to cut the concrete troughing and cable. We are investigating if the they may be linked.

“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have any information to contact police. We have also now stepped up patrols in the area to deter criminals from carrying out these mindless attacks on the railway.”

Anyone with information should contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting incident number 509 of August 6, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.