BT's alarmed cables invisibly spray tag malicious cutters of phone, Internet lines

BT's security measures in the fight against cable theft includes invisible paint technology that alerts police within minutes of a cable being cut.

Jan 29th, 2015
BT's alarmed cables invisibly spray tag malicious cutters of phone, Internet lines
BT's alarmed cables invisibly spray tag malicious cutters of phone, Internet lines

Hundreds of residents in the town on Wycombe in England's Buckinghamshire county saw their phone and Internet connectivity vanish following “malicious cuts” to underground cabling, reports Kathryn Snowdon, senior reporter for the county's Bucks Free Press newspaper and website. "BT has had nearly 300 reported faults from customers who were affected by this 'attack' on the network," reports Snowdon. "Although BT will not specify where the attack took place, properties that have been affected by the criminal damage are located in the area surrounding Deeds Grove."

The report continues: 'Engineers are working to repair the damage and replace about 170 metres of underground cabling. A spokesman from the telecommunications service said some people have had their services restored but it could be a number of days until all the lines are fixed. Paul Hayward, BT spokesman, said, “We have suffered malicious cuts to underground cabling, in an apparent attempted theft of cables, which has been affecting some services in the area at the moment."'

Hayward said further, “Engineers have been onsite working to repair the damage and replacing around 170 metres of damaged underground cabling. They are currently in the process of the process of reconnecting lines onto the replacement cabling. We have had around 290 reported faults from end users that were affected by this attack on the network. Some people have now had their services restored and this will increase as reconnection works progress but this could take a number of days to complete for everyone. We are doing all we can to get this work completed as quickly as possible. We would appeal to local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately. The theft of metal is a continuing problem in the UK, affecting many industry sectors.”

Notably, Hayward added, “Network security is of paramount importance to us, and BT uses many security measures in the fight against cable theft, including RABIT technology that alerts police within minutes of a cable being cut, anywhere in the UK, SmartWater, the invisible paint that tags thieves. SmartWater trap devices are also deployed in hot spot areas with thieves targeting BT property facing being sprayed with the liquid. They will then carry the evidence of their crime on their skin and clothing wherever they go. Alarmed cables and other physical network security measures are also playing their part.”

A BT partnership with Crimestoppers offers up to £1,000 reward for information leading to arrests and subsequent successful convictions; people can call anonymously and free on local phone number 0800 555 111, concluded the report.

Full Story: Wycombe phone and internet lines down, near Deeds Grove, following 'malicious cuts' to cabling (www.bucksfreepress.co.uk)

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