Hundreds of people and homes across the west of Scotland have been left without phone lines, broadband or TV services over the last few weeks after a spate of attacks on infrastructure.
Openreach has reported five separate incidents which involved underground cables being cut and pulled out into nearby fields.
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.
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.
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.
“If you prefer not to speak directly to police, then please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”
Openreach has a partnership with Crimestoppers and is offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information on cable thefts leading 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.”
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