Bell Sets Up Booby Traps to Fight Copper Cable Thieves

Bell’s ongoing fight against copper cable theft has stepped up, with the company sharing a new strategy to catch thieves red-handed in New Brunswick.

The company said it has recently installed aerial alarms across its network earlier this year. These alarms will contact police once “an incident is detected”, resulting in vandals getting caught in the act, and thusly charging the latter with greater penalties.

Last month, Bell says an alarm in Fredericton successfully contacted RCMP after a cable was cut. RCMP were able to arrest two suspects and charges are ongoing.

“Canadians deserve reliable communications networks to stay connected, reach emergency services, and conduct their daily lives. We’re enhancing the security measures to our network – including the installation of aerial alarms – to better protect our critical infrastructure from vandals and hold them to account,” said Marc Duchesne, Vice President Corporate Security and Responsibility, Bell.

Bell said on Wednesday there have been almost 1,000 “physical security incidents” since the beginning of 2022, with 87% of these being copper theft. The most affected provinces are Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Bell says each incident requires about 10-12 hours of repair, which results in downtime for home phone, TV, internet and emergency services.

In January, Bell said the surge in copper wire thefts was “frustrating” and last June it filed a lawsuit against a man charged with copper wire theft. The company wants provincial and federal governments to change laws, increase fines and also revise the Criminal Code to protect its networks.

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