Copper theft has caused many traindelays in Sweden. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
Copper theft has caused many traindelays in Sweden. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Certificate to cut down on copper theft

The latest weapon against copper theft is a certificate which will be issued by the transport authorities when the copper has been legally dismantled, news agency TT reports.

Sten Vickberg at the national Transport Administration calls it a "safety factor for the scrap merchants", who he says are keen to help out when it comes to ensuring they are not buying stolen goods. Only entrepreneurs who have been asked by the agency to dismantle sections of old train lines will be issued with such a certificate.

The theft of copper cables have been a problem for Swedish train operators for years, causing delays and disruption for passengers. It is also highly dangerous, not just for those stealing the copper, but also the people who then have to repair the railsways afterwards.

But things have improved however since a kind of DNA- marking of the copper was introduced in 2013. That year, there were 349 reported copper thefts from the railways. That was down to 232 in 2014.
"Where we have introduced marking, there have not been any thefts at all," Vickberg told TT.

The hope is that the certificate, which has been initiated by a group of scrap merchants, will improve things one step further.

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