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Crimestoppers and Openreach increase reward to £20,000 for information on highly disruptive cable thefts

Crime / Tue 28th Sep 2021 at 01:54pm

THE independent charity Crimestoppers and Openreach, the UK’s largest phone and broadband network, are reappealing for information after a series of recent cable thefts across Roothing, Epping and Harlow in Essex – a new £20,000 reward for information is now available.

The reward money is being offered by Openreach through Crimestoppers for anonymous information on the thefts, which left emergency services, residential premises and businesses without the use of their phones, broadband or TV services. It follows large sections of live cable being pulled from an underground communications network at Sparrows Lane, Roothing on Wednesday 21 July (which was also targeted on Friday 2 July). 

On Thursday 15 July, a cable was also cut on the B181 Road in Epping Upland and again on 16 July on the A1025 Road (First Avenue) in Harlow. All of the thefts occurred between 11pm and 2am.

The damage caused affected hundreds of Openreach customers, including essential emergency services at each location. Significant damage was also caused to street furniture and farmland, where cables were dragged through fields. 

Openreach has a partnership with Crimestoppers that offers rewards for information given anonymously to the charity about cable thefts that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. If you have any information on these incidents, please contact Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Phil Breckon, Eastern Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “The reward amount for information on these cable thefts has been increased by Openreach, to reflect the huge amount of disruption caused and the importance they place on the issue. The impact on local communities affected, including essential emergency services, which are  life-saving, cannot be underestimated.

“This is not a victimless crime and we urge anyone with any information on those behind the thefts to speak up to our charity completely anonymously. We know that some people feel unable to speak directly to authorities, which is why Crimestoppers is here to help. You can tell our charity what you know whilst protecting your identity and staying 100% anonymous. Always. We’ve kept that promise since we began back in the 1980s.”

Richard Ginnaw, Head of Security Services for Openreach, said: “These incidents have severely impacted the day-to-day lives of people across these areas of Essex and this is why we have increased the reward on offer.

“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, please report it. If you prefer not to speak directly to police, contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”

If you have any information about these incidents, please contact Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or through the online form atwww.crimestoppers-uk.org 100% anonymously. Always.

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