Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Copper theft a threat

Published:Thursday | September 3, 2015 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Many communities, just this year alone, have severely been affected by copper theft as a result of the scrap metal trade. These ruthless thieves target telephone cables which contain high-valued copper. These acts of vandalism have resulted in the disruption of many mobile and fixed line services, as well as Internet access. That is what happened to me. Imagine living in a community and being blocked off from the rest of the world in the case of an emergency: police stations, health-care facilities, schools, government and private offices, as well as residents having no way of communicating as a result of scrap metal theft.

Damaging and stealing these cables go beyond just simple theft, they pose a significant threat to national security and personal safety when key operations do not have access to telecommunication services. We have always had good phone and Internet service here and, because of the unrelenting actions of the thieves, we were without service for a number of days. In fact, the day after the service went down, I called in to report the issue. LIME came to replace the cables, putting up all new cables. By the following day, the vandals had removed the cables yet again. How completely inconsiderate! These actions are totally unconscionable.

Persons caught stealing telephones cables should be severely prosecuted on account of the fact that the telecommunications sector plays an integral part in our everyday life.

Without a doubt, I am in agreement with the work being done by LIME to counter scrap metal theft. Aside from possibly losing millions in revenue because of service outage and on repairs, the company has been advocating for the Government to implement more stringent sanctions against the theft of telecommunications equipment.

Caroline Brown

Cheesefield

St Catherine