Council ‘disgusted’ after cable thieves leave customers cut off

HUNDREDS of villagers’ phones were cut off last week when around 1,200m of copper cable was stolen, leaving Barrington Parish Council “disgusted” with BT.

The thieves targeted the cable in the early hours of Thursday morning and the incident is being investigated by Cambridgeshire police.

This is the third time cable criminals have struck in Barrington, says parish council chairman Councillor Tony Fletcher.

He said: “Most Barrington residents have just suffered a third breakdown of BT telephone, email and internet service, resulting in a loss of service for three days.

“It has affected businesses and families alike.

“Barrington Parish Council is disgusted with BT not only for its poor communication to its customers who had no idea what was going on, but also for not putting in place means of preventing this from happening again by using modern technology.

“Surely it is reasonable to expect that the moment the line is broken, a warning should go out to the police, to enable them to take appropriate action.

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“What are the police doing? We have no information from them“.

BT says the works have now been completed, and is urging residents to be on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour.

A company spokesman said: “We would appeal to people 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.

“To combat cable theft, BT’s security unit has established a nationwide intelligence-led task force, whose strategy includes attending crime scenes, liaising closely with police, and visiting scrap metal dealers.”

The police say they are looking at lines of enquiry and urge anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Sergeant Russ Toovey, who is investigating, said: “We’re working with the victims and with BT.

“If anyone has any information about the thefts please call us on 0345 456 456 4 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”