Cable thefts prompt technology firm to offer reward


Crimestoppers - Credit: Archant

Crimestoppers is appealing for information after a series of major cable thefts over the last three months in Dunmow and other areas of Essex.

In late October, suspects removed 200 metres of underground cabling along Ongar Road, Dunmow, by lifting up the lids of underground boxes. Large sections of live cable were also pulled from the communications network along rural routes near Braintree, Halstead, Manwood Green and Wakes Colne.

The damage left local rural communities without use of their phone lines, broadband and TV services.

Significant damage was also caused to nearby farmland, where cables had been dragged across fields.

Engineers for Openreach, an infrastructure provider, are working as quickly as possible to restore services to customers, the company said.

Openreach has a partnership with the Crimestoppers that offers a reward of up to £1,000 for information on cable thefts leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Dave Hunter, head of operations at Crimestoppers, said: “Theft of communications cables and equipment causes enormous disruption. These people’s lives are being adversely affected and the impact is hardest felt in rural communities.

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“In a technological age, having no access to broadband and other communications services can cause real problems to individuals, families and communities, it can even prevent you from getting hold of the emergency services.

“Someone will know who is behind these incidents. You can always contact the police, but if you prefer to stay 100 per cent anonymous, speak to Crimestoppers directly via our charity’s UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111 or use our non-traceable online form.”

Bernie Auguste, general manager of security services for Openreach, said:

“We are working closely with the police to catch those who are responsible and have deployed additional security enhancements across the area, but we also need your help. Please be vigilant and if you saw anything suspicious on or around the time of the incidents, then please contact the charity Crimestoppers or speak directly to the police.”

If you have any information on this incident, please contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or through the anonymous online form at