Reward offered after series of attacks on broadband cables in Thamesmead

A reward of up to £20,000 is now being offered for information to catch those responsible for an ongoing spate of attacks on cables and comms engineering in Thamesmead, causing hundreds of homes and businesses to be left without phone lines, TV or broadband.

The latest attack in Abbey Wood marks the ninth time communications infrastructure has been damaged and cables stolen over a three-month period.

Engineers have reportedly been working tirelessly to restore services to the public, but despite working with local law enforcement and deploying security personnel and measures, the culprits still walk free.

Openreach has partnered with the charity Crimestoppers to try and catch them, and has increased the £1,000 reward to £20,000 for information on the cable thefts leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

News Shopper:

Alexa Loukas, London Regional Manager at Crimestoppers, said it’s "shocking and sad to think that people would steal vital communications cables knowing that communities, already distressed during the isolation of a global pandemic, will suffer."

“It may seem that this is a victimless crime, but the impact on communities is significant.

"Cable theft disrupts essential broadband services, affects those trying to work from home, and can even impact on local emergency and vital public services.

"Those involved seem to care little for the consequences of their actions, which is why we are asking anyone with information on those responsible to do the right thing and speak up now."

The latest incident occured on September 2 at New Road/Lesnes Abbey Wood, disrupting phone lines, broadband and TV services for hundreds of residents and businesses.

The nine incidents have seen vital communications infrastructure damaged and cables stolen, as well as damaging street furniture and parkland.

Openreach, described as the UK's largest phone and broadband network, say its engineers have "worked tirelessly" to restore services to affected customers, but are keen to catch those responsible.

It is possible that the culprits responsible for these incidents are from outside the immediate area and may originate from either London or Kent.

Richard Ginnaw, Senior Security Manager for Openreach, said: “These incidents have really affected the local community in Thamesmead, especially at a time when people are still being encouraged to maintain social distancing.

"Not having access to broadband and telephony services seriously affects everyone’s ability to do things online as well as stay in touch and check in on loved ones. Our engineering teams are working as quickly as possible to restore service following the thefts.

“We’re also working very closely with local policing teams to catch those who are responsible and are deploying additional security enhancements across the area, but we also need your help.

If you have any information on these incidents, please contact the charity Crimestoppers on freephone 0800 555 111 or fill in a simple and secure anonymous online form at

Information passed directly to police will not qualify for this reward. Only information passed to Crimestoppers’ using the untraceable anonymous online form at or via the 0800 555 111 freephone number will qualify.