Northern Ireland

Co Tyrone copper wire theft leaves hundreds without telephone and broadband

Theft follows a spike in the price of copper which is at an all-time high

The PSNI has appealed for information after a goose was seriously injured in Co Armagh
The PSNI is appealing for information after the theft of a "large quantity" of copper cable (Niall Carson/PA)

More than 700 homes were left without telephone or broadband connections after a “large quantity” of copper cable was stolen in Dungannon, police have said.

Reports were received around 1.15am on Tuesday that alarms in the vicinity of the Clonfeacle Road, between Benburb and Blackwatertown, Co Tyrone had been activated.

Officers later discovered a quarter mile of cable on a nearby road.

Neighbourhood Policing Inspector McNeill said: “The damage which has been caused will cost a substantial amount of money to correct, and left over 700 members of our community without telephone and broadband service.

“We would ask anyone who may have been in the area and noticed anything suspicious, particularly those who may have dashcam or other footage, to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 70 of 28/05/24.”

The incident follows a spike in the price of copper, which hit an all-time high last week.

Inspector McNeill added: “We would also like to remind those involved of the risks in this type of behaviour, not only to themselves but also to members of the public.

“Theft of metal or cable may lead to flooding, risk of electric shock, and loss of emergency phone services.

“The local community can help us. If you live near an empty house, a church, a school, or communications hub, please contact the police if you see someone you don’t think should be there. If it’s an unusual time for contractors to be working, ask yourself - do they seem to be from a legitimate company?

“If any behaviour rouses suspicions - contact police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”