Polish railway company PKP Cargo has said the introduction of drones across its network has led to a dramatic decline in the theft of coal. The special units were deployed to combat criminals, who targeted the freight wagons some 900 times in the first 10 months of 2014, costing the company millions of dollars.
Miroslaw Kuk, PKP Cargo Spokesperson: “The main benefit of using drones, except of course operational use, is prevention. Thieves, knowing that we use new tools and have closer cooperation with the police and rail security guards, are more cautious and they also see that they do not have the impunity as in the last years.”
In January PKP Cargo used drone footage to catch thieves in the act. The recording showed the faces of perpetrators loading coal into cars. The company says their vehicle’s number plates were handed to the police, who went onto quickly arrest them.
Miroslaw Kuk, PKP Cargo Spokesperson: “The effects are very good because last year we saw more than 30 per cent lower value of stolen (coal), this calculates into a value of around 1 million (US) dollars, so the effects are there.”
The most common method used by thieves is simple; blocking the tracks in order to force a train into an emergency-brake; then stealing the coal.
Source: UT Today