Crimestoppers and BT Openreach offer reward of up to £1,000 for information on stolen manhole covers in South East London
Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and partner Openreach (a BT Group Business) are appealing for information relating to a spate of manhole cover thefts that took place in South East London. [15 February 2013]
In recent weeks, many manhole covers from the underground network, which links exchanges and customers premises, have gone missing across South East London. The majority have been stolen from footway locations and are made mostly of concrete in an iron frame so have negligible scrap metal value, but their removal leaves the network open to vandalism which can cause loss of service to the local community.
A reward of up to £1,000 is available for information that leads to an arrest and charge of the person/s responsible for these crimes.
Crimestoppers and Openreach began working together in February 2011 and since then have been encouraging the public to help stop malicious damage being caused to this vital national infrastructure by contacting the charity anonymously with information.
Regan Hook, London Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “Metal theft seems to be an issue that doesn’t want to go away and can cause huge inconvenience when the telecommunications network is targeted.
“I would urge anyone with information on this spate of thefts to contact Crimestoppers anonymously and help us bring these individuals to justice – you will never have to give a statement to police and won’t have to go to court.”
A BT spokesperson said: “Metal theft remains a big problem and when thieves turn their attention to BT’s network cables, it can result in the disruption of telephone and broadband services for very many customers.
“We need your help in stopping these criminals, while missing manhole covers can be reported to BT Security on 0800 321 999.”
If you have any information about this incident, then please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill in one of their secure online forms which can be found by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
*Please note: Rewards only qualify for information passed through the Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 number.
For more information please contact BT’s regional press office on 0800 085 0660
Notes to Editors
- Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also use our ‘giving information’ form via our website www.crimestoppers-uk.org which can also be accessed by internet-enabled mobile phones.
- Around 22 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers.
- Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over a million actionable calls, resulting in almost 120,000 arrests and charges. Over £125 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £292 million worth of drugs has been seized.
- In 2005, Crimestoppers launched the UK’s Most Wanted on its website which allows the public to view images of criminals and pass on vital information about their whereabouts. It has been highly successful with over 1,900 arrests to date.
- Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Chairman of Trustees. In 1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppers’ ‘call to action’ is built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media.
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