Re-appeal for information after a spate of attacks on the communications network in parts of Worcester and Kidderminster

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Along with partner Openreach (BT Group’s local network business) we are appealing for information relating to a series of malicious attacks on the communications network in parts of Worcester and Kidderminster in recent weeks.

The latest attack on Openreach’s underground network happened outside Rectory Lane, Rock, on Monday April 25 at approximately 2am. This followed a similar incident near Duckdown Barn, Crown Lane, Iverley on Sunday April 24 between 12am and 2am. The fire service had to be called on both occasions.

Households left without services

The damage left local households and businesses without phone and broadband services for a considerable period of time, with Openreach engineers working quickly to rectify the issue and restore services for local people.

We are appealing alongside Openreach to anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact the charity or the police.

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

Similar incidents

The incidents above follow similar damage caused last Thursday, April 21, when the network was deliberately attacked and damaged near Trench Farm, Dunhampstead, and at Crown Lane, Waresley again between 12am and 2am. These incidents followed unexplained damage to an overhead cable and connecting pole in Trench Lane, Oddingley, on Saturday April 16.

Between March 11 and 18 there have been a total of eleven similar attacks to the telecommunications network within the area.

Openreach are working closely with the police to determine connections between these incidents and are deploying security enhancements but need the public to help us stop these attacks.

Not victimless 

Pauline Hadley, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “Crimes like this are often perceived to be victimless, but they’re not. When services go down, you can’t Skype a family member, do your online shopping, or send that important email.

“This is why it’s important that if anyone has any information, they should contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through our anonymous online form. Nobody will know you contacted us.”

Bernie Auguste, Head of Openreach security operations, said: “We are working closely with West Mercia Police to find the individuals responsible for these malicious attacks, whose actions continue to cause disruption to local communities within the surrounding area. Please be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to Crimestoppers and help bring the people responsible to justice.

“It is regrettable when we suffer any kind of damage to our network. Our priority is always to restore services to those affected as quickly as possible, which is what we are trying to do in this case. In the meantime, we would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused.”

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

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