Crimestoppers and Openreach seek information after cable damage in Billingham

1 October 2015

We alongside our partner Openreach (a BT Group Business) are appealing for information relating to malicious damage to the telecommunications network in Billingham which left homes and businesses without telephone and broadband services.

The incident occurred 800 metres from Seal Sands telephone exchange, Billingham along Seaton Carew Road, at approximately 10pm last Friday (25 September).

No communication for hours

The damage left locals without communications services for a number of hours, with engineers working round the clock to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum.

BT uses many security measures in the fight against malicious damage to their network, which includes its alarm technology RABIT (Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker), which activates within seconds of an incident happening.

Openreach has a partnership with us that offers up to £1,000 rewards for information on cable thieves that lead to arrests and subsequent successful convictions. People can call the charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We began working with Openreach in February 2011 and since then have been encouraging more people to help stop malicious damage being caused to this vital national infrastructure.

Communities fed up

Dave Hunter, our North East Regional Manager, said: “Communities are fed up of having these types of incidents occur because it is hugely disruptive, while it can also be costly to local businesses.

“Don’t let the people responsible for this crime get away with their actions. Contact Crimestoppers anonymously and do the right thing. Tell us who’s responsible for this crime so local people are not inconvenienced again in future.”

Gary Collinson from Openreach Security said “This attack on our network has left a large number of homes and businesses within the surrounding area without essential telephone broadband and TV services. Our engineers are currently doing everything they can do to restore service as soon as possible.  We are also working with Cleveland Police to find the individuals responsible for this crime and ask that if you were in the area on Friday and you saw anything suspicious that you call Crimestoppers”.

If you have any information on this incident please contact us anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through our Anonymous Online Form.