Thieves foiled in bid to steal copper wires from heritage railway
- Credit: Archant
Police and staff from the Mid-Norfolk Railway stopped thieves from stealing copper wires and scrap metal after two break-ins.
Dereham train station, which is part of the Mid-Norfolk Railway, was targeted by thieves who were looking to steal electrical cabling on two consecutive days this week.
Staff and volunteers who monitor the CCTV system first spotted the thieves on Wednesday, October 28 and called the police.
On Thursday, October 29, the site was targeted again with Norfolk police being called at 9.30pm.
On arrival a sweep of the site was carried out with no one being found.
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The thieves then returned a second time and damaged security fittings and fencing. The police were called again but didn’t catch the suspects.
George Saville, the railway’s general manager said: “The last two nights have been very long for all of us involved in these incidents and I would like to thank our staff, many of whom are volunteers for assisting the railway at this difficult time.
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“I would also like to thank Dereham police for their speedy response and reassure our members, supporters and the general public that they are investigating this incident further.
“The railway therefore appeals to the public and if anybody has any information on this incident can they please contact the local police.”
Metal theft from the National Rail network is an ongoing problem and the Mid-Norfolk Railway recognises this and continues to take precautions.
It forms one of the three main criminal issues that all railways face, along with graffiti and trespass, all of which are illegal because of the dangerous nature of accessing the track are criminal offences.
Charlie Robinson, the chairman of the MNR trust, said: “Incidents such as last night highlight not just the criminal intent of some but also the dangerous nature of unauthorised access to the railway.
“The MNR might well be closed to the public at the moment but the railway itself is not closed.
“Currently direct rail services are operating on our track on a daily basis, as they operate rail head treatment trains on behalf of Network Rail on the East Anglian rail network.
“They are using our facilities as an operating base. As such trespassing on the line is both a criminal offence, but just as importantly a life threatening risk that is being taken.”
A spokesperson from Norfolk Police said: “Officers have received a report of theft at the Mid Norfolk Railway on Station Road in Dereham.
“The incident happened at approximately 9pm on Wednesday, October 28, when a railway coach battery was stolen. Enquiries are ongoing.”