Among the worst incidents were a theft at Bilston in the West Midlands last July, where £600,000 of cable went missing (that’s 150m of fibre optic, and a whopping 18km of earth bonding cable – MT isn’t even sure how you’d go about stealing that). Rotherham Central was the worst-affected station, with 107 crimes ringing in at a not inconsiderable £100,000.
But rail companies aren’t the only ones affected by the upsurge in metal theft – as the value of scrap metal goes up, the church has also been badly hit. In fact, insurer Ecclesiastical said on Sunday that 2011 was the ‘worst year on record’ for the number of claims made by churches for metal theft – everything from lead from roofs to plaques from memorials. Which just goes to show that not even Our Lord is immune to the rising price of earthly commodities.