Repeated attacks on cables and communications infrastructure in Thamesmead have caused hundreds of homes and businesses to be left without phone lines, TV or broadband.
Openreach say they have been a series of cable thefts in the last three weeks, most recently when a large section of live cable was pulled from the underground communications network in Thamesmead, south east London, overnight on Sunday, August 2.
The result has been significant damage to the network, leaving hundreds without TV, broadband and phone lines, as well as “significant damage” to nearby public green spaces after the cables were dragged across parkland.
Following the latest attack, the charity Crimestoppers have now joined Openreach in condemning the repeated attacks and are appealing for information.
A reward of up to £1,000 is available for information on the cable thefts, and both organisations are seeking an arrest and conviction of those possible.
“It’s unbelievably callous,” said Alexa Loukas, the London Regional Manager at Crimestoppers, “that people would steal vital communications cables knowing that communities, already stressed during the isolation of a global pandemic, will suffer.”
She continued: “It might appear that no one is harmed or that this is a victimless crime, but the impact on communities is significant.
“Cable theft disrupts essential broadband services and can even impact on local emergency and vital public services.
“Those involved care little for the consequences of their actions, which is why we are asking anyone with information on those responsible to speak up now.”
Crimestoppers say there has been a series of the thefts in Thamesmead SE28 over the last three weeks.
The latest saw live cable ripped from underground at the junction of Crossways and Glendale Way, and Openreach engineers are currently working as quickly as possible to restore services to those affected.
Police believe the theft took place between 11pm on August 2, and 3am on August 3.
Richard Ginnaw, Senior Security Manager for Openreach, said the incidents have “really affected the local community.”
“Not having access to broadband and telephone services will seriously affect the ability to do things online, as well as stay in touch and check in on loved ones.
“We are working very closely with 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, report it. If you prefer not to speak directly to police, then please contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”
If you have any information about this incident, please contact the charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or fill in a simple and secure anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.