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German groups ‘declare war’ on metal theft

Germany – Three of Germany’€™s major infrastructure managers – leading energy provider RWE, Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom – have been working with the Association of German Metal Traders (VDM) to establish what they describe as a ‘€˜formal security partnership’€™ aimed at banishing metal theft.

These enterprises have ‘€˜declared war on metal theft’€™, stating that the cost impact almost doubled last year to Euro 20 million from Euro 11 million in 2010. ‘€˜We are not prepared to simply accept these losses, but are taking preventative action,’€™ warns Volker Wagner, Head of Group Business Security at Deutsche Telekom.

‘€˜As from now, we shall be making a collaborative effort to combat the theft of non-ferrous metals,’€™ notes Prof. Gerd Neubeck, Chief Security Officer at Deutsche Bahn. ‘€˜We are determined to put a stop to the theft of raw materials by beginning at the scene of the crime, going all the way down the distribution chain.’€™

At the heart of the security partnership lies a newly-designed electronic warning system, enabling each of the members to gather detailed data about the incidences of theft. This information is then pooled and instantly forwarded to VDM member companies so as to make it more difficult for the thieves to sell the stolen material.

‘€˜This co-ordinated approach by the association, the infrastructure managers and our member companies is intended to break through the criminal circles and cut off the sales channels for the perpetrators,’€™ remarks VDM President Thomas Reuther.

Talking about the ‘€˜next step’€™ in their mission, RWE’€™s Head of Forensics Michael Schoofs says: ‘€˜We are currently looking for partners from the science sector. Innovative research projects will enable us to protect our sensitive infrastructure more effectively.’€™

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