ProRail recorded 62 copper thefts last year, 3 less than a year earlier.

According to the railway manager, the number of thefts on and along the track was therefore historically small in 2020.

In 2011 there was a peak of 516 thefts or attempted thefts.

ProRail cites preventive measures against copper thieves as a cause of the decline.

To prevent theft, the copper of the cables is increasingly being replaced by aluminum, which saves thieves less money.

According to ProRail, aluminum cabling works just as well as copper.

In addition, fences and more security cameras have been installed and more night checks with dogs are carried out along the rails.

Copper thefts are often fueled by a high copper price.

This has now reached its highest level since 2011 due to optimism about the economic recovery from the corona crisis.

According to ProRail, there has been no increase in the number of copper thefts in recent times, while the copper price is rising.

The copper cables ensure that parts of the track function properly.

If switches and signals can no longer be operated or only partially operated, trains will no longer be able to run and delays will occur.

Due to the corona crisis, ProRail has no figures on the delays as a result of copper theft last year.

To combat theft and handling of stolen copper, the trade association Metal Recycling Federation (MRF) concluded a covenant in 2011 with ProRail, network manager TenneT and the judiciary and police.

In addition, an identification requirement was introduced for people who want to hand in the buyer for cash.

This has also contributed to the sharp decline in copper thefts.