Crime-prevention and risk management specialist, SmartWater Technology Ltd, has signed a lucrative, multi-million pound deal with Network Rail to protect the infrastructure of its London to North West (LNW) mainline.
Network Rail will deploy the full range of SmartWater’s Royal-awarding winning risk and crime suppression strategy to protect trackside cable and other materials from theft and vandalism. The theft of metal has cost Network Rail over £35 million in repair bills and fines since the 2006/07 financial year and has been responsible for 1,165,000 minutes of commuter delays.
SmartWater will now provide Network Rail with a multi-faceted approach to crime prevention, interweaving risk management, intelligence gathering, strategic deployment, forensic technology and an ongoing consultancy service.
The campaign will also mark the first time that SmartWater’s new forensic trap devices will be deployed to capture and convict persistent offenders. Once activated, the non-hazardous devices will douse offenders in a chemically coded liquid, which will cover their skin, clothing and hair. This can be used to link them back to a particular crime scene, long after the offence has taken place. These devices will be used in pre-defined hotspot areas across Network Rail’s LNW line, which runs through several major cities including parts of London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.
SmartWater will also be deploying forensic coding to mark sections of trackside cable with a chemical liquid that is virtually impossible to remove and able to withstand burning. This will act as a major deterrent to thieves by allowing any stolen metals to be easily identified by police, who are stepping up visits to scrap yards and recycling centres. This will also make it increasingly difficult for thieves to sell on any stolen goods.
In order to secure this contract, SmartWater’s forensic marking products had to achieve Network Rail product acceptance. SmartWater products were subjected to rigorous safety assessments and performance checks to ensure they were fit for purpose and suitably robust. Due to the stringent nature of the testing no other marking product besides SmartWater holds this accreditation.
Network Rail now joins an increasingly illustrious list of SmartWater clients, which also includes BT Openreach, Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water and G4S Cash Service (UK). SmartWater is widely regarded as one of the fastest-growing crime-prevention and risk management organisations in Europe.
SmartWater Chief Executive, Phil Cleary, said: “Metal theft is an international problem and we are committed to working with Network Rail, as well as the police and other law enforcement agencies, to continue to tackle this issue. SmartWater has developed a long term strategy to combat this type of theft which will see the deployment of an array of sophisticated products and crime prevention measures.”
Jo Kaye, Network Rail’s route director, said: “Cable theft is a massive drain on our resources and a major inconvenience to train operators, their passengers and freight. Cable theft has cost the company over £35 million in compensation and damage repairs since 2006. That is effectively wasted money that would be better spent improving and enhancing the railways for the benefit of everyone.”
SmartWater Technology Limited
PO Box 136, Telford, TF3 3WY
Tel: +44 (0) 800 521 669
Fax: +44 (0) 870 242 4561