How to Stop Copper Theft
Aussies Use GPS Tracking To Combat Copper Theft
Copper theft is an issue all over the world. In fact, copper theft has become so prevalent in some states that laws have been drafted to require those recycling scrap metal such as copper to provide a valid driver’s license in case of any potential future problems surrounding where an individual obtained the copper to ensure it was gathered legally. Unfortunately, these additional measures are not applied everywhere and even when they are used do not completely eliminate the epidemic of copper theft. This is why the Metro in Australia is fighting copper theft with the use of GPS tracking devices in hope it will reduce the nearly $1 billion dollars spent annually in loss along with operation closures due to the rise in theft.
Metro made the decision to move forward with micro GPS trackers after a copper theft on a popular line resulted in roughly 50,000 morning commuters being forced to wait out lengthy delays. Basically a small group of copper thieves cut active cables that shut down power and pushed Metro to suspend train services while repairs were conducted. Metro was forced to work with local bus companies and frustrated customers due to the delays all because a small group of fools stole what was estimated to be a little over $600 in copper.
With over 40 reported incidents of copper theft last year by Metro and roughly 20 incidents this year, officials for the rail company felt they had no other choice but to invest in GPS trackers to eliminate the problem. A survey conducted by Public Transport Victoria shows that railway delays caused from copper theft have resulted in roughly $4 million in wages lost from late arrivals by workers. This has impacted both business productivity and wages earned by employees. In fact, copper theft has become such a significant problem that some railways are opting to use material composed of aluminum to replace copper cables stolen by thieves. Unfortunately, replacing all existing copper cables with the less expensive aluminum would be a huge hurdle because the network is already in use and would take significant time and money to replace.
GPS tracking technology continues to be employed by law enforcement agencies and other government entities to reduce theft and enhance property/asset protection. Hopefully, this new move that utilizes GPS tracking will help combat copper theft all throughout Australia.