Thursday 24 March 2016
Along with partner Openreach (a BT Group Business), we are appealing for information relating to malicious damage to the telecommunications network within a number of rural locations within Worcester and Kidderminster which left homes and businesses without telephone and broadband services.
The first series of incidents involved damage to overhead cables and poles, which started on Friday 11th March at Dunley and a second incident approximately five miles away at Ribbesford, Worcestershire.
Series of incidents
This was followed a day later on Saturday 12th March at Doverdale and Droitwich on Thursday 17th March. A further seven attacks occurred within a six mile radius of Ombersley and Droitwich on Friday 18th March. The latest attacks within the area took place on Saturday 19th March at Doverdale, Droitwich and Hartlebury on Monday 21st March. All of the incidents took place between 12am and 2am.
Openreach are working with the Police to determine connections between these incidents.
To minimize disruption to local residents and businesses, engineers worked around the clock to restore service to the impacted areas as quickly as possible.
BT uses many security measures in the fight against cable theft, which includes its alarm technology RABIT (Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker) which was activated within seconds of these incidents 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.
Crimestoppers and Openreach began working together in February 2011 and since then have been encouraging more people to help stop malicious damage being caused to this vital national infrastructure.
Not a victimless crime
Pauline Hadley, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “Cable damage and theft is often seen as a victimless crime, but when you can’t access your broadband, or make an important phone call from your landline, doesn’t that make you a victim?
“I would urge anyone with information on these incidents to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, safe in the knowledge that nobody will know you spoke to us.”
Richard Ginnaw of Openreach security operations, said: “These series of malicious attacks to our network have resulted in a number of rural communities without access to broadband and telephone services. We are working closely with West Mercia Police to find the people responsible for these crimes. We ask that if anyone has noticed suspicious behavior in the local community or were in the area around the times of the attacks and saw anything unusual, then please call Crimestoppers.”
If you have any information on this incident please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through our Anonymous Online Form.