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Operation Tremor is a joint operation between British Transport Police, Lancashire Constabulary and Network Rail to combat thieves who have been stealing copper boilers and piping and taking copper cables from train tracks, which can disable signalling equipment and safety devices. Some of the wire is used to carry information for automatic signalling and safety equipment.
The police circulated pictures of known thieves to scrap metal merchants and taxi drivers after a dramatic rise in thefts from railway property and homes. Part of the blame was put on the rise in price of copper which had tripled in the three years leading to 2006.
The operation launched in December 2006 highlights a growing problem which is affecting the whole national rail network.