A number of telecoms engineers in the UK have reported that they are being threatened and harassed over a conspiracy that linked 5G to coronavirus.
Despite being dismissed as a hoax by scientists, a conspiracy linking 5G technology to the coronavirus pandemic has resulted to several UK telecoms engineers receiving threats, including those of extreme violence.
Andy Kerr, deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said: “We’ve actually had cases where people have been threatened with being stabbed, threatened with physical violence and in some cases actually threatened with murder.”
CWU is a group that represents almost 40,000 telecoms engineers. Kerr added that most of those threatened were not even working on 5G but were maintaining the network and playing “a crucial role”.
“People are stuck at home – whether they want to watch their box set of Peaky Blinders or somebody’s isolated and they want to keep in touch with family. The only way to do that is the telecom network. More importantly these are engineers maintaining the network so it’s there for all the health and emergency services,” he argued.
Attacks on telecoms towers
According to the National Crime Agency, there have been a series of recent arson attacks and cases of criminal damage to telecommunication masts.
Mobile operators have reported that there have been at least five instances of vandal attacks on cellphone towers due to a spread of the conspiracy theory.
There have been videos on YouTube about a theory connecting the virus to the new super-fast 5G wireless technology. The videos have been viewed by hundreds of thousands and have been shared on other social media platforms.
A joint statement was issued by BT Group’s EE, Telefonica’s O2, Vodafone and Three, owned by CK Hutchison Holdings, saying that claims that 5G is in any way connected to the coronavirus pandemic have no basis.
The mobile network operators also said: “Not only are these claims baseless, they are harmful for the people and businesses that rely on the continuity of our services. They have also led to the abuse of our engineers and, in some cases, prevented essential network maintenance taking place.”
What telecoms engineers experience
An engineer named Mike from North Yorkshire narrated: “Incidents range from people shouting abuse, videoing, asking us why we’re putting up death towers, why we’re going to fry everyone.”
“We’ve had objects thrown at engineers. Threats saying they’ll come back with groups of lads and stab them. We’ve had people threaten to shoot us if we don’t leave.”
Jake from Birmingham mentioned: “Me and my team have had people shouting: ‘You’re killing everyone, stop putting in the 5G.’ Mainly making us feel uncomfortable. Asking us how we are key workers and why we are doing what we’re doing.”
“There is that worry every day when you get in the van that something could happen – but you just have to get on with it and keep everyone safe in the meantime,” he added.
According to West Midlands Police, the crimes are “being taken extremely seriously due to the risk to the public that they pose”.
Meanwhile, Sam is an engineer from Plymouth who is currently installing temporary sites across the UK for the Nightingale hospitals.
He said: “A member of the public decided to key my truck because he thought I was working on 5G. I’ve made small changes to the way I work. We remove our signage from our vehicles and we’re in non-branded company uniform.”