Cable thieves target Barrington for the fourth time in two months

CABLE thieves have struck in Barrington for the fourth time in two months - once again disrupting businesses and cutting off villagers’ phones.

The criminals targeted the village in the early hours of this morning (Friday) between Mill Road in Barringinton and Foxton Railway crossing.

Businesses have been left unable to take credit cards or contact suppliers, with one pub facing difficulties over the busy bank holiday weekend.

Hendrik Olwagen, manager of The Royal Oak said: “We can’t use our card machine we have to use that antiquated thing and we have no phone lines.

“We do have a mobile we have diverted calls to but we’re struggling.

“I did see the police up there I don’t know what they do up there.

Mr Olwagen also suggested the man hole covers should be firmly secured and fiber optic cable should replace the copper that is being sought for its increasing material worth.

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A Barrington shop was also affected - however the Post Office on site could still take electronic transactions.

“We lose business every time the cables go down this time at least the post office is still up,” said Peter Alderson, sub post master and owner of the Mace store.

“We couldn’t take credit cards from the first thing this morning and we have had to turn customers away.

“This is the fourth time in two months and the eighth time since November, to be honest it doesn’t surprise me.

Mr Alderson also claimed he was still being charged line rental during the periods his phone line was cut off.

He said: “The biggest thing is there’s no compensation offered from them when they’re down - they still charge for the line rental when it’s down - I had a phone bill come through this morning charging me for a time when I didn’t have a phone line.”

He also hit out at the police and said they could increase patrols as he claimed the criminals always struck between 1-2am on a Wednesday or Thursday.

Police say they are looking at all the incidents side by side - however a spokesman said it is too early to treat them as linked.

A BT spokesman said: “Engineers are onsite and assessing the situation, we have around 60 reported faults associated with this incident.

“We will be doing all we can to get services restored as quickly as possible and keep disruption to a minimum.”