BT engineers arrested in parking ticket swindle

openreach engineersFrom ISP Preview 01/07/13:

Police in West London have arrested eight of BTOpenreach’s telecoms engineers and another thirty have been suspended after bosses at BT were allegedly tipped off about a fake car clamping business that had netted the fraudsters around £200,000.

[BT] vans belonging to BTOpenreach have to pay around £1 million worth of fines in London every year. This is because engineers often have little choice but to park in restricted areas while carrying out vital broadband and phone repairs.

Ah – sneaky.

Still, it’s interesting that BT regard their vans being routinely ticketed for parking offences as a necessary cost of doing business. How about trying to educate their engineers to park more sensibly (I realise this isn’t always possible), but I’ve seen some Openreach vans practically abandoned they’ve been parked so badly. Time for extra training I think.

[T]he fraudsters found a way of manipulating this by creating fake claims that parking wardens had ticketed their vans when in fact they had not. On top of that the engineers were also found to be wrongly claiming overtime pay.

The City of London Police confirmed the arrests and noted that eight of the workers were now out on bail.

Which reminds me: I very nearly got run over the other day as a result of two badly-parked Openreach vans which obscured my view when crossing the road. Ironically, they were parked up outside a firm of solicitors. Still, I’m sure BT wouldn’t have needed to instruct them; they’ve plenty of their own in-house lawyers!

BT get a bad press on the whole (an awful lot of it, deservedly, I think) but I’m sure the vast majority of Openreach engineers are honest, law-abiding citizens. Certainly the chap who came out to install a new line at Law Actually HQ a couple of years ago was very helpful. It’s just a pity they aren’t all like that.

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