Squads of Gurkhas are helping patrol cable theft hot spots on the railway in the north east.
The ex-serviceman are part of an industry wide campaign designed to tackle the growing problem of cable theft.
Other plans include new forensic marking of cable and a change to legislation involving scrap metal dealing. BTP made more than 900 arrests last year.
On a single day recently Virgin Trains experienced 60 hours of delay.
Cable theft costs the railways £19million a year. Recently at Coventry station passengers were invited to support the rail industry in tackling the thieves.
Representatives watched SmartWater investigators demonstrate forensic marking technology. Many want changes to legislation governing the sale of scrap metal.
‘We believe that the only way to significantly reduce metal crime is to take away the illegal market, and that more robust legislation and police powers are needed to achieve that,’ says Dyan Crowther, Director Operational Services at Network Rail.
An amendment to the Scrap Metal Merchants Act 1964 to prohibit cash transactions would make payment by cheque or directly into a bank account mandatory and would be a significant component in reducing metal theft.
The retired Gurkhas work for the security firm G4S.