Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UK Trains delayed as theives steal copper wires from junction boxes

Here is an example of how theft of one item -- in this case copper, actually results in theft of time, and increase in safety risk. Consider the following story from the UK;

Copper thieves delay trains

RECORD numbers of UK trains are being delayed due to thieves stealing copper wires from junction boxes. The crimewave has seen 11,000 trains delayed over the last 12 month and around one million passengers made late as a consequence.

Network Rail first highlighted this problem in England’s north four years ago as a result of rising copper prices, and a taskforce was set up to address the worrying trend. Industry bosses estimate that £35m worth of copper wire has been stripped from railway lines since 2006, with £20m-worth stolen every year by 2014 if current rates continue to rise.

The problem of copper theft is particularly bad in England’s northeast which reports around 40 incidents every day. The raids became less profitable in late 2008 because of falling copper price around the world, but a recent rise has seen a resurgence of the trend to their worse levels ever.

Gangs are causing 500,000 minutes of otherwise avoidable delays every year by removing swaths of the rail network and ripping out cables attacked to trackside signals. Once rail signals lose current their lights revert to auxiliary power, immediately switching to red until engineers can arrive to fix the problem.

The Network Rail taskforce also includes train the British Transport Police (BTP) and railway operators, and focuses of securing tougher sentencing for thieves and rogue scrap dealers who act as middlemen that ‘fence’ the stolen material on.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Internet Crime Hits Record High in First Half in Japan; up 31.5%.

Internet Crime Hits Record High in First Half in Japan; up 31.5%. Police responded to a record 2,444 Internet crime cases nationwide in the first half of this year, a National Police Agency survey showed Thursday. The number, up 31.5% from a year earlier, represented a new high since the NPA started gathering statistics for Internet crimes, defined as crimes which use a computer network, on a half-yearly basis in 2004. (Source: Kyodo)

Romania prepares for crime wave with exodus

MORE than 8000 Roma have been sent back to Romania and Bulgaria from France under President Nicolas Sarkozy's crackdown - but many plan to return to the West to escape unemployment and a life without even the most basic amenities.

The Romanian countryside has little to offer those who, like Florin Chel, 24, and his family, were rounded up from a caravan site near Montpellier last week and offered E300 ($423) to make a "voluntary return" to Europe's poorest country.

Mr Sarkozy's policy has attracted criticism from the UN and some in his government for branding an entire community as criminal, despite none of those returning in recent months being convicted of a crime, according to Romanian authorities.

Mr Chel, whose shiny Dolce & Gabbana shoes seem out of place on the potholed road that leads to his family's simple concrete house, said he and his wife were told their two children would be taken into care if they did not sign an agreement to leave.