Cracking down on cable theft
Millions of Canadians rely on our global leading networks everyday as an essential service, from staying in touch with loved ones to accessing emergency lines. When the materials used to build our network infrastructure are stolen or tampered with, as with cases of cable theft, not only is it a threat to our network promise, it also puts the safety and security of communities at serious risk.
Copper wire is particularly vulnerable to theft because of how widely it’s used for critical infrastructure around the world, and it can be sold for lucrative profit to scrap metal dealers. In 2019 alone, 32 million minutes of service disruption in Alberta and B.C. were caused entirely by incidents of copper theft. This rising criminal activity often leaves customers without access to emergency services, connections to loved ones, and costs millions in damages to communities, businesses and TELUS every year.
As part of a program and through multi-industry partnership efforts that began in 2014, TELUS was closely involved in legislative consultation to pass Bill 25 in Alberta, where nearly half of all TELUS copper wire theft occurs. Also known as the Protecting Alberta Industry from Theft Act 2020, the new legislation increases penalties for all metal theft and requires scrap metal dealers to report all transactions and seller information, which is made accessible to law enforcement for theft and vandalism investigations. The new provincial law will start coming into effect on September 1, 2020.
How you can help in the fight against cable theft
Cable theft can happen anywhere and any time of day – thieves will target cell towers, trespass onto construction sites and vacant homes, break into offices, vehicles, refrigeration units, and anywhere else viable metals can be found.
Stolen and vandalized cable can cause major safety hazards in local areas.
Our Cable Assurance and Network Assurance teams respond with emergency repairs that typically involve splicing each individual cable wire back together.
If you witness a potential theft happening, please call 9-1-1 and report the information. If you come across damaged infrastructure – such as cable lines that look vandalized or out of place – please call TELUS’ dedicated line for emergency repairs, which is available 24/7 at 310-CUTS from Alberta and B.C., or 1-800-593-5558 from everywhere else in Canada.
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