£1,000 reward on offer after 4,000 Cambridgeshire homes left without phone lines, broadband and TV following cable thefts
- Credit: Archant
Large sections of live cable have been pulled from the underground communications network in part of Cambridgeshire.
The damage left over 4,000 homes and businesses without use of their phone lines, broadband and TV services.
A spokesman for Openreach said: "Significant damage has also been caused to adjacent farmland, where cables have been dragged across fields. Our engineers are working around the clock to restore service and are doing everything they can to get it done quickly."
The company, a division of BT, is investigating whether a pile of cables found at Cottenham could be connected to the theft.
The spokesman said: "We recognise and share the frustration of people living and working in the areas impacted when our network is damaged in this way."
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Crimestoppers in conjunction with Openreach is offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information on these cable thefts leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Annabelle Goodenough, Crimestoppers regional manager, said: "It might appear that no one is harmed or that this is a victimless crime, but the impact on communities is significant. Cable theft disrupts essential broadband services and can even impact on local emergency and essential public services.
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"Those involved care little for the consequences of their actions, which is why we are asking anyone with information on those responsible to speak up.
"If you are unable to speak directly to the police, then our charity is here for you. We will take your information at our UK Contact Centre anonymously online or via our freephone 0800 555 111 number."
Bernie Auguste, director of security services for Openreach, said: "These incidents have severely impacted the day-to-day lives of people in two areas of Cambridgeshire.
"We are working closely with the police to catch those who are responsible and have deployed additional security enhancements across the area, but we also need your help. Please be vigilant and if you saw anything suspicious on or around the time of the incidents, report it. If you prefer not to speak directly to police, then please contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously."
Information passed directly to police will not qualify. The reward will only qualify if information is passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 number or via our untraceable anonymous online form