A group of men suspected of operating a cable theft gang have been arrested in the Lincolnshire area.
British Transport Police raided addresses in Lincoln, Grantham, Newark, Wellingborough and Doncaster, arresting 10 men on suspicion of cable theft.
Over 90 officers attended the early morning raids, carrying out house searches and seizing a number of items for forensic examination, including cutting tools, mobile phones, computers and laptops, receipts and bank statements.
In Lincoln, a 25-year-old man was arrested, with four men aged 22, 29, 39 and 40 arrested in the Grantham area.
Three men, aged 22, 23 and 44 were arrested in the Doncaster area. Another man aged 34 was arrested in Newark and a 44 year-old man was also arrested in the Wellingborough area.
All ten men are now being questioned in police custody.
Detective Inspector Stuart Mellish, leading the operation, said: “These arrests follow a complex seven-month investigation by officers from Operation Leopard, BTP’s team of officers dedicated to tackling cable theft.
“We believe this organised gang have been working together to steal cable, valued in the region of over £1.2 million, from across England over a one year period.
“Railway cable theft is blighting our infrastructure and disrupting the lives of ordinary people on a daily basis, but we have teams of officers dedicated to tackling the problem and who have been really effective.
“Recently we’ve seen significant reductions in cable-related offences on the railway in the North East — a 69% reduction, which is great news.”
He added: “I’d like to thank members of the public for their ongoing support in helping us in tackling this crime and ask that people continue to report any suspicious behaviour near the railway, or in their communities, to police so we can work together to drive this crime down further.”