Australian police and telecommunications companies are working together in a bid to prevent arson and other attacks on equipment suspected of supporting the rollout of 5G.
There have already been three suspected incidents in Australia, probably by activists who believe that the coronavirus is being caused by 5G technology. A pattern of similar attacks has also taken place in New Zealand and the UK.
Victoria police confirmed last Friday that they are investigating a suspicious fire at a telecommunications tower in the Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne West.
Earlier in May, another fire occurred at a tower in Morphett Vale in South Australia. There was also an incident in northern Victoria, where two Chinese flags and a Nazi flag with ‘#Covid19’ on them were tied to a telecoms tower.
In New Zealand there have been around a dozen incidents and approximately another 20 in the UK.
Telecommunications industry voices its concern
The Australian telecommunications industry has now voiced its concerns and is working with various police forces in an effort to protect the 5G equipment and also the personnel involved in rolling it out. There is a particular worry that if towers are rendered inoperable it will stop triple-zero emergency calls from being made.
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association chief executive, Chris Althaus, told Guardian Australia that the mobile companies were not going to let the small minority of people who are spreading misinformation about 5G to put towers under threat.
“We’re not going to sit back. No one is going to cop it,” he said. “Frankly it’s disgusting to [use] this genuine health pandemic for furthering an agenda against a technology that has proven to be safe.”
Althaus said telecommunications companies were partnering with law enforcement in the states and territories to keep on high alert for potential vandalism of telecommunications equipment in response to misinformation about 5G.
NZ prime minister speaks out over attacks
In New Zealand there have been multiple attacks on infrastructure. In one incident, a man filmed an accomplice seeming to be pouring petrol over cables at a tower in Manurewa, a suburb on the outskirts of Auckland, and setting them alight. The video was then shared to Facebook.
You can see the video on the New Zealand Herald website here.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also become involved, saying that the conspiracy theory linking the coronavirus and 5G “is just not true”.
In the UK, there have been numerous incidents, including abuse of telecommunications workers. In one case in London, a woman hurled abuse at technicians she erroneously thought were installing 5G technology.
“You know [that] when they turn this on, it’s going to kill everyone, and that’s why they’re building the hospitals,” she said.