THE SNCF has signed a deal with the gendarmerie nationale to use a fleet of police helicopters in the fight against copper thieves.
The company is estimated to be losing €35m a year through the theft of copper cables.
According to the rail operator, the copper thefts are often the reason for trains being delayed, totalling up to 6,000 hours.
The rising price of copper has led to an increase in thefts, with the metal now fetching €7,420 a tonne.
It has signed the deal to help better protect the cables along its 32,000km of railway tracks.