ALCONBURY residents could be left without phone or internet connection for the whole of the weekend after thieves stole underground cable.

As of 5.20pm, BT said it had received 45 reported faults from Palmers Lane, Ford End and Sharp's Lane, but expected that figure to rise.

Engineers are currently working to resolve the issue but a spokesman for BT said this could take all weekend. A £1,000 reward has been offered for anyone with information that could lead to the conviction of the assailants.

A spokesman said: "We would appeal to local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately.

"Network security is of paramount importance to us and we are constantly reviewing our processes to make sure our infrastructure protection is robust.

"Residents concerned about suspicious behaviour can report it either directly to the police or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers.org.uk"

Meanwhile in Huntingdon, St Peter's School and more than 50 other homes and businesses were left without electricity for over an hour this afternoon because of a fault.

A spokesman for UK Power Networks said: "Engineers worked as quickly as safely possible to restore supplies to 53 customers in the St Peter's Road area of Huntingdon following a fault on our high voltage electricity network.

"Other nearby customers might have briefly lost supply for about a minute when the fault occurred at 3.05pm. All customers had power restored by 4.10pm.

"We realise how difficult it is to be without electricity and apologise to all those affected."