§ Lord Marlesford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will ask telephone companies to increase the frequency of collection of coins from telephone coin boxes so as to reduce the incentive to theft. [HL4321]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)
The Office of Telecommunications (Oftel) regulates the provision of public call box services through telecoms companies' licences. Oftel has no formal powers to require BT to empty cash from public telephone boxes more frequently, nor does it feel that it is necessary to intervene to obtain such powers, as it has confidence that BT has the incentives to minimise attempted theft. Oftel is advised that BT has reduced its losses due to theft and vandalism dramatically over the last 10 years. This shows that BT takes this threat very seriously.