Cable theft costs millions of pounds each year. The total cost to the economy, taking into account the impact of freight delays to power stations, supermarkets etc and on passengers who miss appointments or have their day ruined, is even higher.
The theft of metal is a big problem for the railway as thieves target signalling cables, overhead power lines and even metal fences to sell for scrap.
Britain's rail network is designed to fail safe, which means that when a cable is cut trains are brought to a standstill. This protects passengers but can lead to lengthy, frustrating delays while the problem is found and fixed safely.
A large proportion of funding comes from the UK Government, so these thefts are, ultimately, costing taxpayers money.