September 22nd 2014
Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and partner Openreach (a BT Group Business) are appealing for information relating to the theft of a telecommunications cable in Billingham that left thousands without service.
The incident occurred on Norton Road, close to Billingham Beck and the A139, at approximately 11.20pm on Sunday 14th September and affected telephone and broadband services for customers and businesses in the surrounding area.
Openreach engineers worked around the clock to restore services, with thousands left without communication services for a number of days.
Openreach has a partnership with Crimestoppers, which offers a reward of up to £1,000 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.
Dave Hunter, North East Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “It’s a huge inconvenience to people who rely on their communication services, and for that reason, as well as the fact this is a crime, I would ask you to stand up for your community and contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through our Anonymous Online Form. Tell us what you know, not who you are.”
Richard Ginnaw Head of the Openreach network resilient unit which was set up to tackle metal theft, said the theft of copper cables can result in loss of vital services such as telephone and broadband connections, causing disruption and inconvenience to the general public and effect entire communities. The Openreach engineering teams have been working around the clock to restore service. We now need your help to identify and apprehend the people responsible.
If you have any information on this incident please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through our Anonymous Online Form.