Proof of ownership is the biggest hurdle to overcome when trying to convict a person of cable theft. Here we detail our theft prevention initiative which started in May 2009.
We insert a tape containing a series of unique ID numbers into each conductor of a cable. These ID numbers are scanned and associated with the purchaser just prior to despatch. The appropriate records are stored off site by Unicode. On finding a piece of cable, the ID numbers in one or more cores can be checked against the Unicode database to establish the original owner.
- A relatively low cost material (PET) allows us to put it into every core of every cable.
- Each 150mm of conductor within a cable contains a unique ID number.
- The ID numbers change in a known sequence allowing intermediate numbers to be predicted from any two exposed ID numbers.
- Innermost in the cable makes it difficult to remove.
- Innermost in the cable makes it burn resistant. (45 minute veld fire)
- The tape survives production process and operational (normal and fault) temperatures.
- The barcode reduces the risk of typographical errors.
- Size allows for reading with the unaided eye.
- All stock is available to any customer.
This initiative allows for 4 potential prosecution options:
- Possession of stolen goods. Rightful owner is identified with certainty.
- A piece of stolen cable can be related to a specific crime scene.
- Act 6 of 2009 Clause 21 (1) (b) requires a dealer to keep record of serial numbers.
- Clause 22 (1) (c) requires the dealer to report any attempt made to damage the marking. Melted tape remains as evidence.
- All copper and aluminium conductors 16mm² to 1000mm² on LV, MV and HV cables.
- We exclude the smaller sizes (≤10mm²) and aerial cables (ACSR, ABC, Service cables).