Engineers working on 5G received more abuse last month than in the whole of last year following claims the technology was linked to coronavirus.
Openreach, the firm rolling out the high-speed mobile phone network, said attacks had escalated during the pandemic.
Sixty-eight incidents of verbal and physical abuse – most of them linked to 5G opposition – have been reported since April 1. This compares with 42 for all of 2019.
Workers were also warned that razor blades were being hidden behind anti-5G posters on telegraph poles.
Openreach, which is a division of BT, said engineers had been accused of causing both cancers and coronavirus when at work (file photo)
Theories linking 5G to coronavirus have been condemned by scientists as baseless, with Public Health England explaining that there is no evidence exposure is harmful.
This has not stopped public figures, including Eamonn Holmes, adding fuel to the fire.
He was slapped down by Ofcom after saying on ITV1’s This Morning that it was ‘very easy’ to dismiss the conspiracy theory ‘because it suits the state narrative’.
Openreach engineers are continuing to face verbal abuse and physical threats as a result of members of the public being taken in by conspiracy theories linking 5G to coronavirus
Catherine Colloms, of Openreach, which is a division of BT, said engineers had been accused of causing both cancers and coronavirus when at work.
She told the BBC: ‘A lot of it is verbal, a lot of it is quite unpleasant and really distressing for our engineers who are out there trying to do their job and keep the UK connected.
‘We have had some instances of physical abuse, either threatened abuse or people have attacked, for example, an engineer’s van when they are working alongside it.’
Aaron Ashton-Jones, an Openreach engineer, was verbally abused in Kent by a driver who slammed on his brakes before confronting him in the road.
The man angrily said he was ‘killing communities’ and ‘spreading this virus’.
Mobile UK, which represents EE, O2, Three and Vodafone, says 77 phone masts across the country have been attacked over the past few weeks.
Source: Daily Mail – Articles