Hundreds are left without their landlines after theft

Coun Tony Sockett presenting Teacher of the Year award to Johanna Butterworth from Arksey Primary, at the Spirit of the Community Awards at Bentley Pavilion. Picture: Michael Ford

Coun Tony Sockett presenting Teacher of the Year award to Johanna Butterworth from Arksey Primary, at the Spirit of the Community Awards at Bentley Pavilion. Picture: Michael Ford

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A DONCASTER village cut off by cable thieves was due to be reconnected to the phone system by last night.

Many residents of Arksey and some people in Bentley have been without landline telephone and internet services since Friday last week.

Some homes were back on line by Wednesday but BT engineers were still busy yesterday completing repairs.

The telecoms firm is offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information which will enable police to catch the thieves who took the valuable cable from the village last Thursday night. The resulting damage caused around 250 customers to be cut off and engineers have been working around the clock to restore services.

One of those affected was former councillor Tony Sockett, who said: “I noticed my phone had gone down last Friday and I wasn’t able to receive emails until Wednesday.

“There have been a lot of BT vehicles on the streets with engineers down manholes.

“I was more concerned about the residents of the Arksey almshouses because they are linked to the council’s emergency line. For those people it is an essential lifeline.

“It’s at times like this that you realise how dependent you are on phone lines.”

A spokesman for BT said: “We would like to apologise to those affected by this cable theft for the inconvenience caused.

“Our engineers are working to restore service as quickly as possible and have been gradually restoring service to customers. We hope to have all customers back up and running by the end of Thursday.

“We would appeal to local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately.

“We are joining forces with Crimestoppers and are offering up to £1,000 for information leading to a conviction.

“Residents concerned about suspicious behaviour can report it either to police or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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