Hundreds lose phone lines as thieves strike Ketton Road in North Luffenham

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THIEVES have attempted to steal copper cabling, leaving hundreds of people without phone lines.

Police were called to Ketton Road in North Luffenham at about 8.15pm on Thursday last week to find a copper phone cable had been cut and strapping was tied around it.

Officers believe the thieves were disturbed as they attempted to pull it from the ground.

The phone lines in Ketton Road serve up to 1,200 homes in North Luffenham and Edith Weston and BT received 200 reports of faults.

All the phone lines were back on again by Monday after BT Openreach engineers once again worked around the clock to fix the problem.

The same lines were also cut in July, August and September.

BT also received 200 reports of faults after copper cabling had been cut and stolen in Thurlby. It was reported to BT on Thursday last week.

Most of the customers had their phone lines working again over the weekend and the last people were back on line by Monday.

Police were also called to the villages of Baston and Greatford after manhole covers had been removed. Officers believe the thieves had intended to cut and steal the copper cables but had been disturbed.

General manager for security at BT, Luke Beeson said the company was constantly reviewing its security across the network.

He said there had been a rise in attacks because of the high cost of copper. Attacks have risen by 12 per cent since last year.

He said: “Stealing telecommunications cable requires some degree of organisation, planning, equipment and resources.

“Offenders cover the whole spectrum of criminality from opportunist thieves stealing small amounts through to organised criminal gangs with access to more resources and equipment causing major widespread disruption to our customers.”

Mr Beeson said BT worked with the police and with charity Crimestoppers to offer £1,000 rewards for information leading to an arrest and conviction. He urged people to be vigilant and report anything suspicious immediately.

Anyone with information on the thefts should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.