Cables deliberately torn up leave hundreds in Scotland without broadband, TV and phone services

Five separate incidents have been reported.

Thursday, 17th September 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 6:01 pm

Hundreds of residents across Scotland have been left without signal after a spate of attacks on infrastructure providing internet, TV and phone services was attacked.

Openreach, Scotland’s largest phone and broadband network, has reported five separate incidents where underground cables being cut and ripped out from underground.

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In Glasgow a theft occurred at Wallacewell Road and Broomfield Road in Springburn between 3am and 4.30am on August 26; an attempted theft was made at Glenconner Way in Kirkintilloch between 2am and 4am; and another attempt occurred by the A81 at Blanefield between 3.30am and 4am on September 9.

Pylons photographed near Stirling
Pylons photographed near Stirling

There were also attempted thefts at Broomlands Busway Stanecastle in Irvine between 3.30am and 4.30am on August 28; and at the A91 on the outskirts of Alva between 3.30am and 4am on August 31.

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Openreach and Crimestoppers have partnered up in the investigation and are offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information on cable thefts which will lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Angela Parker, Scotland manager at Crimestoppers, said: “It’s shocking to think that people would steal vital communications cables knowing that communities, already stressed during the isolation of a global pandemic, will suffer.

“It may 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.

“If you are unable to speak directly to the police, then our charity is here for you. We can take your information anonymously via our UK contact centre.

“Just fill in our simple and secure online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or speak to one of our trained staff by calling freephone 0800 555 111.”

Richard Ginnaw, senior security manager for Openreach, said: “These incidents have really affected the local communities, especially in a period when people are still being encouraged to maintain social distancing.

“Not having access to broadband and telephony services seriously affects the ability to do things online as well as stay in touch and check in on loved ones.

“We’re working very closely with police to catch those who are responsible and are deploying 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.”

Angela Parker, Scotland manager at Crimestoppers, said: “It’s shocking to think that people would steal vital communications cables knowing that communities, already stressed during the isolation of a global pandemic, will suffer.

“It may 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.

“If you are unable to speak directly to the police, then our charity is here for you. We can take your information anonymously via our UK contact centre.”

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