A GRAPHIC poster campaign has been launched to warn would-be metal thieves of the dangers and consequences of cable theft from Metro lines.
Transport operator Nexus has joined forces with North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police to launch a hard-hitting poster campaign to deter crooks from targeting the Metro after a series of recent cable thefts brought trains to a standstill.
The campaign uses graphic images of a man with electric burns to hammer home the safety message, as well as underline that police are closing the net on cable thieves.
The posters are being displayed at Metro stations across the borough, prominent locations next to Metro tracks and at police stations and council offices.
The director general of Nexus, Bernard Garner, said: “These posters send wvery powerful messages to thieves.
“We are speaking directly to people who may be thinking about putting their lives at risk to try and steal metal worth only a small amount to them.
“Not only is the net drawing in thanks to extra policing, but anyone who chooses to tamper with live cables risks death or horrific injuries.”
Nexus, which owns and manages the Metro system, has spent over £300,000 in the last eight months carrying out repairs as a result of cable theft. The financial year has so far seen 20 incidents of metal theft on the Nexus and Network Rail infrastructure.
Mr Garner said: “The increase in cable theft has brought significant disruption to the Metro system, particularly this year, and we are determined to work with all the relevant agencies to crackdown on the problem.”
The Mayor for North Tyneside, Linda Arkley, said: “What thieves should realise is that when they take cables and other metal they are taking from their own communities as well as putting their own lives at risk.
“These thefts disrupt the lives of local people and mean that public money, which could be spent on important services, such as improving transport, is having to put right the damage they cause.”
n Police are appealing for witnesses after the theft of cable on the Metro system. Thieves stole four lengths of cable from the track at the viaduct on Ropery Lane in Wallsend on Monday, November 7, at 8pm.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact police on 03456 043043 ext 69191 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.