BT wages war on metal theives

Cable thefts cost BT and it’s customers millions of pounds each year.

BT has launched a new weapon in the fight against cables thieves in the South West.

The new technology, Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker (RABIT), can detect when a cable has been cut or damaged and can accurately pin-point an incident to a road or street.

It alerts BT’s security control centre and police response teams when the company’s telephone or broadband network is attacked.

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “BT’s new burglar alarm on the network will make thieves think again.

“We are now able to inform the police of the exact location of malicious network attacks and, if trials are anything to go by, it won’t be long before they start catching the thieves in the act.”

Paul Crowther, the deputy chief constable of the British Transport Police and metal theft lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers, added: “In my view this technology will significantly improve police response times to cable theft incidents and will act as a major deterrent to criminals engaged in this activity.

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“More importantly, communities and businesses should see a sharp reduction in the disruption caused by this type of theft.”

The number of arrests related to BT cable thefts are rising with the average number of arrests per month up by nearly eight per cent on last year.

In the last 11 months the number of arrests has reached more than 480 and it is estimated that around 80 per cent of BT’s cable thefts are

BT recovered 240 tonnes of stolen metal in the past eleven months, as a result of visits to scrap metal dealers and working with police forces on targeted operations and national metal theft days of action.

BT says these thefts cost BT and its customers millions of pounds each year.

Other security measures deployed by BT include using SmartWater, an invisible paint that tags thieves, and a partnership between BT’s local network business Openreach and Crimestoppers.

The company also has a dedicated Metal Theft Task Force, which gathers and analyses intelligence from cable theft incidents and help disrupt disposal routes for stolen metal.