Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs

So many angles on this one so I went with this from Friday’s day out… Here’s a mobile advertisement hoarding warning those with criminal intent that they are being watched. Cable theft is a major issue in the UK due to the high price of copper. The railways and the telecommunications industry are especially at risk from cable thieves. I witnessed and photographed a theft in progress myself a couple of years back but at the time it looked like a regular contractor carrying out a recovery in an unsafe manner – ie the thieves were actually working for a licensed contractor and thus appeared to legitimate. So I went through the health and safety channels. The alarm was raised around lunchtime the same day and the persons involved were confronted in their company office. But somehow their employer contrived to allow them to leave before the Police arrived to arrest them! Makes you wonder about the integrity of some contractors doesn’t it 😦 In Telecoms terms the danger to the public is relatively minor (apart from criminal idiots using grab lorries to drag cable out of the ground within feet of pedestrians!) but on the railway they could easily precipitate a major disaster with lots of deaths. And, the most galling thing about it all…These people are often so stupid that they will grab any piece of cable including fibre optic which has no real value at all yet can take out communications for thousands of premises!

57307 'Lady Penelope' warns cable thieves.
57307 ‘Lady Penelope’ warns cable thieves.

You can read about the Weekly Photo Challenge at http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/signs/


  1. This was really interesting. I’ve never heard of cable theft. But then I live in a town with only one train, and I don’t live near its station.

    1. Hi Trish – it is a major issue in the UK and, it seems in a lot of other countries too – just stumbled upon a report from South Africa!

    1. Ahh! Colline – yes, I just read a report of a cable theft in Soweto! I knew it was a major European problem but clearly it is a global epidemic 😦

    1. Hi Judith – yes it easy to pass un-noticed especially when the perpetrators are disguised as legitimate Telephone Engineers or, as in my case, are a contractor that regularly engages in work for the Telecoms company. I wouldn’t have thought any more of it as I went about my morning walk had they been following correct safety procedures!

    1. It’s a huge problem for the rail network Gerry hence the Class 57 painted up with a warning. I understand that the Police working with the railways, electricity and telecomms companies are making inroads against the criminals but it’s still an uphill battle.

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