Cable thieves cut off village as repair men face risks

Have your say

Residents of another Doncaster village have had their phones cut off by cable thieves.

It is the fourth time in a month that BT engineers have had to carry out emergency repairs in Lindholme to get household phones and internet lines reconnected.

Last week it was Arksey that suffered several days of dead phone lines because cables had been taken from a street box and underground.

A BT spokesman said yesterday: “We have had three cable thefts in the Lindholme area over the last month, each time affecting around 30 to 40 customers.

“Work to restore services was undertaken very quickly with connections restored within 24 hours to the majority of customers.

“This morning we identified a further cable theft impacting on up to 80 customers. We are working to restore services as quickly as possible but have no definite timescales as yet.”

BT Security is working closely with the police to try to prevent any further thefts, and have implemented additional security measures in the area including security patrols, alarms and SmartWater.

“Often damage caused during theft is extensive and repairs can be difficult,” said the spokesman. “We would appeal to residents to be vigilant and immediately report to the authorities any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers.

“Network security is of paramount importance to us and we are constantly reviewing our processes to make sure our infrastructure protection is robust,” said the spokesman.

n Meanwhile, railway engineers have been shot at and almost stabbed by ruthless thieves intent on stealing copper cable from South Yorkshire’s vandalised train tracks, The Star can reveal.

South Yorkshire is a national hotspot for criminals who are targeting cables which control signals and points in the hope of cashing in on the high value of scrap metal.

At least two engineers employed to make repairs to the blighted railway network have been shot at while trying to get track back up and running. One worker was even warned he would be stabbed.

Engineers say the problem is spiralling to such an extent their workload has multiplied, with a 23 per cent jump in thefts on the previous year.

Engineer John Smith said: “Two colleagues were shot and another was threatened to be stabbed.”