CABLE theft from North East railways has dropped 66 per cent on last year.
New figures released by British Transport Police show there were 180 offences recorded in the region between April and October, compared to 528 during the same period in 2011.
But officers say they are not letting up on efforts to stop the thieves and will continue to visit scrap metal dealers to remind them of their responsibilities.
Detective Inspector Stuart Mellish said: “The reductions seen in the past six months have been remarkable. Clearly initiatives such as Operation Tornado, in conjunction with better education for scrap dealers and improved joint working with industry are having an effect.
“The significant reductions mean that fewer people are having their rail journeys disrupted as a result of cable theft and thieves are having less impact on the lives of communities.
“But there is no room for complacency and there is still much to be done. We will continue to champion and support operations designed to tackle the problem and will further develop our links with our partners such as Network Rail, BT and the Environment Agency to gain a better understanding of who still presents a risk and what can be done to tackle the issues.”
Planned changes to the law will ban all cash transactions at metal recycling yards and increase fines for dealers who fail to abide by the rules.