UIC, represented by Mrs Susanne Kufeld (Head of DB Situation Center and Global Crisis Management Corporate Security (CZL) and UIC Metal Theft WG Chairperson), and Mr José Pires (Senior Advisor of the UIC Security Division), attended the Pol-Primett II Expert User Group meeting and annual conference on 14 and 15 October.
Pol-Primett II aims to develop a police-private sector partnership to reduce metal theft across Europe to improve collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the private sector and provide a better understanding of metal theft. It also intends to create an Expert User Group from law enforcement agencies and the private sector to improve communication and to share good practice providing a legacy of collaboration and a reduction in metal theft.
In Portugal the theft of non-precious metals, such as copper, fell 42.3 percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2013, with GNR (Portuguese National Guard) recorded 3,813 crimes in the first six months of the year.
According to the National Guard in the first half of the year 3,813 crimes were not classified as theft of precious metals, representing 2,798 fewer crimes in the first half of 2013, when it found 6,611 were recorded.
A 42.3 percent decrease following the downward trend has been observed since the first half of 2013, according to these data.
In the first six months of the year, the GNR identified 337 people suspected of being involved in theft of precious metals – not having arrested 123 for the same offence – while in the first half of 2013, 305 had been arrested.
According to GNR, copper remains the most commonly stolen non-precious metal, with 2959 cases of copper theft registered in the first six months of the year, followed by iron (668) and foil (343). Already in 2012 and 2013, copper was recorded under non-precious metal theft.
Within the European “Pol-PRIMETT II” project that is supported by the European Commission, bringing together security forces and eight member state institutions, this was another opportunity to meet at an international event, where participating experts included security forces, prosecutors, European companies in the areas of telecommunications, power distribution and transport, metal recycling industries, farmers and other economic agents and sectors of administration with an interest in combating theft of non-precious metals and smoothing their effects on the economy.
UIC, as an official partner of Pol-Primett II, presented the “Public-private collaboration: a railway perspective”. This shows the reason why the UIC Metal Theft WG can act as the Single Rail Forum representing all the railway collective bodies, authorities and its members. It provides technical support to the activities of the EU lobbying bodies (CER/EIM) vis-à-vis the European Commission, in particular the DG MOVE LANDSEC advisory group activities.
The UIC Metal Theft WG also acts as an information hub for railways/authorities on metal theft issues and as a hub for good practice between the different sectors.
In particular regarding Pol-Primett, the UIC Metal Theft WG is developing a partnership that fits in to the WG strategy.
In supporting the authorities and the legal institutions to introduce and take into account of all the metal theft impacts such as repair and replacement of stolen materials, cost of operational delays, damage to the image of railways, technical consequences, etc., this partnership falls within the common understanding that only a collaborative mitigation effort can produce a tangible effect against this phenomenon.
In the very next steps of this partnership, preparing the development of an “EU metal theft mapping” will provide information to support not only the “metal theft status quo” awareness needs but also the information needed for the law enforcement and judiciary forces to better plan and do their jobs.