Waste and Metal Task Force To Bring the Smackdown on Cable Pilferers

By Sam Gibbs on at

A new collaboration between BT, the London Metropolitan Police, and Bexley Council, has been set up to target the miscreants that pinch the nations copper cables. The Waste and Metal Task Force aims to bring the pain on the thieves who cost the taxpayer £700m a year.

Perceived as a "victimless crime", BT's had enough of its cables being stolen, cutting phone lines and other communication cables that are crucial to operation. We always blame the ISP when our broadband goes on the blink, but it might be because some pikey has pinched your cable. The same goes for signal disruptions affecting our daily commutes by rail.

Bexley Borough's involved because that's where the thieving bastards end up flogging their wares, with a recent investigation turning up £16,000 of cable and copper from the National Grid sub-station in Bexley alone. The Met's Chief Superintendent David Chinchen said:

“Metal theft is not a victimless crime, but is causing increasing misery to commuters and householders, and costing millions to the rail industry and local authorities. Our officers will employ a wide range of robust tactics and we plan to run regular operations to crack down on those seeking to profit, and who end disrupting other’s lives and putting their own at risk.”

Apparently the blighters set up shop with fake BT garb, vans and passes, posing as telecoms engineers, pinching cabling from where ever they can get it. While you and I are probably only interested in fibre, there's still a lot of copper being used to connect parts of the network, often into your house. The cable-fiddlers also don't give two hoots about your precious fibre broadband and end up damaging the non-copper cables in the process of ripping out the more valuable stuff. Morons. [The Register]

Image credit: Copper from Shutterstock