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86% reduction in theft for the UK’s largest broadband provider

BT is the largest provider of fixed-line, broadband and mobile services in  the UK, operating a vast network of underground and overground telecommunications cable.


The problem

BT approached SmartWater (now known as DeterTech), after prolific  thieves, targeting the copper contained in the cable, left affected areas  cut off, costing BT millions of pounds every year.

In the year before, a 9% increase in attacks on BT sites and infrastructure, led to more than 200 arrests. In addition, criminals were repeatedly targeting the tools and equipment stored in BT’s fleet of 20,000  plus vans, further hindering essential repair, maintenance and installation  work


The solution

To combat this, SmartTrace™ was applied to both underground and  overground telecommunications cable, ensuring that all stolen BT cabling could be linked back to an original location via the unique and  invisible forensic code. High-visibility deterrent signage was deployed  at BT sites to promote the use of SmartTrace™, sending out a powerful warning to thieves. 

Tools and equipment stored inside BT vans were also marked with  SmartTrace™, and special deterrent livery applied to the exterior of the  vehicles to make them less attractive to thieves. 


The benefit

In support of this strategic approach to reducing crime, SmartWater  investigators engaged with likely handlers of stolen BT property and provided  them with UV detection equipment to identify SmartTraceTM. Regular covert  test purchases were also carried out by SmartWater to make sure handlers  were both looking for SmartTraceTM and refusing to buy marked property. Over a 5-year period, BT saw an 86% reduction in incidents of theft.


Find out more 

Interested in finding out more about how DeterTech can help you? Get in touch and arrange a call back.

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