BT battles to restore lines after metal raid

MORE than 1,000 homes had their telephone lines cut off by metal thieves this week. BT is reviewing its security in a bid to stop further incidents. Every month since October, telephones cables have been stolen and services to hundreds of homes in parts o

MORE than 1,000 homes had their telephone lines cut off by metal thieves this week.

BT is reviewing its security in a bid to stop further incidents.

Every month since October, telephones cables have been stolen and services to hundreds of homes in parts of Huntingdonshire and South Cambridgeshire disrupted.

Home owners and businesses in Cambourne were the latest victims of metal theft after four large BT copper cables were ripped from the ground and stolen.


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The theft took place on the Caxton to Cambourne bypass overnight on Sunday.

A BT spokesman said the replacement cables had been delivered to the site and work was taking place to repair the damage.

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She said: "The cables have already been put back in the ground and some customers will be reconnected later today (Tuesday) or tomorrow.

"We are working as quickly as we can and we are hopeful that the remaining phone lines will be restored on Thursday."

High-profile police patrols and a mobile police station have been stationed in Cambourne and officers have asked residents to look after the elderly and vulnerable.

Det Sgt Chris Balmer said: "BT is working as quickly as possible to get the lines restored, but if you are aware of any ­vulnerable or elderly residents please check on their welfare."

Cambourne businesses tried to carry on as normal.

Staff at Bovis Homes in the High Street had their landlines diverted to mobile phones to allow customers to get through.

However, a Great Cambourne resident who wished to remain anonymous said he was finding it difficult to run his website design business from his home without internet access.

Since October, metal thieves have targeted telephone cables in Alconbury Weston, Great Gidding and Little Staughton.

A BT spokesman said the thefts are something they are taking very seriously and it has now started to look at improving their security.

She said: "It has affected the country as a whole but it does seem that Cambridgeshire at the moment is being targeted.

"This is a very unfortunate occurrence and these thefts have a negative effect on us and our customers.

"Our network is as secure as it can be but customers should feel reassured that we are working with police to make it even more secure."

INFORMATION: Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen any suspicious behaviour near manhole covers in the Cambourne area to contact police on 0845 4564564 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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