Tag Archives: Metal Theft

Castel’s IP-based intercom solution helps secure London Underground’s maintenance depots

London Underground (LU) has embarked on a major security upgrade at its London maintenance depots and, as part of that process, has procured Castel’s IP intercom solution as part of that process.

Operations at the busy sites include general maintenance and train cleaning while facilities encompass driver rest areas. A large number of employees, suppliers and other visitors pass through LU’s various depots on a daily basis.

Working alongside Honeywell Security, Castel has supplied an IP intercom solution that will help protect the sites from the theft of high-value plant and equipment and the ever-increasing problem of metal and cable theft from the rail network.

The previous intercom system was made up of numerous disparate technologies and obsolete equipment and would have been too expensive to upgrade or repair. As a result, the decision was taken by Transport for London to invest in a totally new IP intercom system, together with a new Honeywell surveillance and access control system.

A dedicated site-wide network was installed for 35 of Castel’s CAP IP PoE (Power over Ethernet) Video Entry Stations which have been used for the gates, vehicle barriers and turnstiles. All calls are networked back to a single central point locally – either a gatehouse or Security Control Room.

However, if a call goes unanswered, the next available operator at another depot will be able to receive and deal with it – another great advantage of using an IP/SIP network solution. This feature helped reassure LU’s management team that no calls would go unanswered, particularly as round-the-clock access to the sites is critical.

Operators using Castel’s Xellip IP Master Stations now have the ability for simultaneous video communication with other colleagues across all sites, thereby enhancing overall security and generally improving working conditions. Castel’s Xellip Server Max has also been used on the project, which allows up to 1,000 SIP extensions and provides plenty of capacity for expanding the system in the future.

The new intercom system will not only prevent unwanted visitors from accessing the sites, some of which cover a very large area and have many entrance and exit points, but will also safeguard staff working there and give them easier access.

Castel’s sales director Stuart Hibberd commented: “This project demonstrates our ability to provide an IP video intercom solution in a very demanding environment where there’s a great deal of traffic and valuable assets.”

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Fight against metal theft boosted by UK Government funding

The crackdown on the illegal trade of metal has been boosted by UK Government funding of £500,000.

The Home Office and Department for Transport have agreed to provide further funding for the National Metal Theft Taskforce. The taskforce develops intelligence, co-ordinates activity and targets and disrupts criminal networks – both the thieves and also the criminal market, including rogue elements of the scrap metal industry.

The funding follows a request from the British Transport Police (which leads the taskforce), and means the Government has invested more than £6 million in the initiative since it was launched in January 2012.

The latest funding, which runs to the end of September this year, will allow the taskforce to continue its hugely successful programme of co-ordinated national days of action.

These targeted operations against unscrupulous scrap metal dealers, in conjunction with police and local agencies, have so far resulted in more than 1,000 arrests for theft and related offences. Police have also seized more than 600 vehicles involved in criminality.

More difficult for thieves to profit from crime

Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: “The coalition Government has made it harder than ever for metal thieves to prosper. Our £6 million investment in the National Metal Theft Taskforce is reaping rewards.”

The minister continued: “Alongside our reforms to ban cash payments and regulate the scrap metal trade, the taskforce has helped to make it much more difficult for thieves and unscrupulous dealers to profit from crime. This additional Government funding will enable the taskforce to continue its programme of co-ordinated national days of action, which have so far resulted in more than 1,000 arrests and the seizure of hundreds of vehicles involved in criminality.”

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “I am pleased we can continue to fund this nationally important organisation. The potential impact cable theft has on the railways is huge, not least the inconvenience to passengers. Network Rail has to compensate operators for the disruption. This is money that could be better spent on improving the network which is a vital part of our economic plan.”

In conclusion, Baroness Kramer added: “For the last two years the taskforce has had a big impact in reducing the number of cables being stolen. Network Rail continues to report that the trend is in decline, with delays to passengers being at an all-time low.”

Crackdown on the illegal trade of metal

The taskforce forms part of the Government’s programme of work to crack down on the illegal trade of metal, and its activities have been boosted by legislation.

Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which came into effect in October 2013, scrap metal dealers are now required to hold licences issued by local authorities.

The licences set standards for record keeping and customer verification, and councils may revoke a licence at any time if they believe the dealer is no longer suitable to hold one.

Cash payments for scrap metal have been banned since December 2012.

Statistics published in November 2013 show that UK Government action is working. There was a 40% fall in the number of offences for the three months to the end of March 2013 compared to the three months to the end of June 2012.

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