Case Study: Thames Valley

Following constant cable theft issues and significant train delay costs, Vital Security Solutions secured a contract from Network Rail in 2010 for the supply of cable theft security services at the operational Thames Valley route.

“Since we have employed Vital in our TV Area, we have created a successful working partnership in delivering additional security patrols throughout the Area. At no time have we had any concerns with the level of expertise provided and have had no complaints or concerns raised with us. Vital has also set up good working relationships with our BTP colleagues and their success has ensured 12 arrests since they started patrolling our Area”
Bryan Keetch, Network Rail’s Western Operations Manager

Vital carried out a full route security assessment to identify hotspots and split the 30 mile route into three set areas with 4 teams of 2 operatives patrolling each area in marked Vital vehicles. Operationally the teams were made up of a licensed Security Industry Authority (SIA) guard and a COSS qualified railway operative – giving patrol flexibility and ability to access track as required.

The primary scope included:

  • SIA / COSS Operatives
  • Cable Theft Prevention
  • 30 Mile Operational Area

Project Details

Over the entire route 40 access points are visited on a planned yet irregular basis over a 24 hour period. The pattern is irregular to ensure that no-one who may be intent on attempting theft of cable is given any clues as to the patrol pattern

At each access point the teams physically check all accesses to ensure that gates are locked, no fencing has been damaged/removed and also that no suspicious behaviour is evident. Any serious security breaches are reported directly to NWR control centre who then instruct Vital operatives as required.

Minor damage is reported locally to NWR maintenance for action. Evidence of criminality is reported directly to the Police.

Since the contract commenced Vital have been directly responsible for 12 arrests of persons going equipped to steal as well as disturbing a number of people from the track who were in the process of preparing cable for theft. Vital have also responded to NWR’s request to go out of the patrol area as required to attend other issues.