Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and partner Openreach (a BT Group Business) are appealing for information relating to damage to a network that left a number of people in Oldham without communication services.

The incident took place on the evening of Wednesday 26th June, around the A62, with this malicious damage disrupting services to hundreds of residents and businesses over a wide local area.

A number of underground cables were damaged in a criminal act just before midnight on Wednesday.

Some broadband and telephony services are being impacted as a result and engineers are working round the clock to restore service.

BT’s dedicated Metal Theft Task Force, which focuses their resources to restore affected services as quickly as possible, will work closely with Greater Manchester Police during the investigation.

An Openreach partnership with Crimestoppers offers up to £1,000 as a reward for information leading to arrests and subsequent successful convictions. People can call 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.

Gary Murray, North West Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, appealed for members of the public to come forward with information about the crime to ensure locals were not affected again in the future.

He said: “Incidents such as this are rare, but when they do occur, they cause huge disruption to the local community and I just do not understand why criminals think they can get away with this.

“Crimestoppers is a charity that takes information anonymously, so do the right thing and tell us who was responsible for this crime and causing so much frustration to the local community and cost to Openreach – no-one will know you contacted us.”

Kevin Brown, general manager, BT's Metal Theft Task Force was equally concerned. He said: "I would urge anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area to contact the police or Crimestoppers. Metal theft generates thousands of faults on BT's network every year and remains as a priority for us."

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

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

 

  • Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also use our Anonymous Online Form.
  • Around 20 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers.
  • Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over a million actionable calls, resulting in over 122,000 arrests and charges. Over £126 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £299 million worth of drugs has been seized.
  • In 2005, Crimestoppers launched the UK’s Most Wanted on its website which allows the public to view images of criminals and pass on vital information about their whereabouts. It has been highly successful with over 2,200 arrests to date.
  • Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, and Chairman of Trustees. In 1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppers’ ‘call to action’ is built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media.