Cable thefts cut telephone lines for three weeks

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TWO separate thefts of telephone cable in the Rede Valley left households with no phone line and broadband for more than three weeks.

Homes were first affected in Otterburn and the surrounding areas after a theft in Elishaw which police became aware of at 7pm on Sunday, July 16. BT Openreach said it began repairs on July 18 and the work was a “sizable job”.

As work was ongoing a large quantity of copper cable was stolen near Rochester on July 25.

A spokeswoman for BT said that the company had around 35 reported faults throughout the period but the numbers affected could have been more.

All work to restore the service was now completed and BT said the last customers were back up and running on Tuesday this week.

“While completing work we have taken the opportunity to replace older cables in the vicinity and also put in place additional security measures to minimise the chances of this happening again,” she added.

“We are working closely with local police and are running our own security patrols throughout the night as an extra precaution.”

She said cable thefts were becoming less common.

Northumbria Police said inquiries were ongoing and anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference 270 of 20/07/17 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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