Copper cable thieves knock out landlines to more than 500 Sidcup homes

PUBLISHED: 11:08 02 February 2012

Thieves who attempted to steal underground copper cables wiped out phone lines in at least 500 homes.

Despite the fact that nothing was actually taken, BT lines were affected in houses on Long Meadow Road, Old Farm Avenue and Pine Wood Avenue, Sidcup.

Pensioner Bob Coote, 80, of Long Meadow Road, noticed the problem at 12.30pm on Tuesday and was told that it could take up to one week to repair.

He said: “There could be an emergency situation or someone could be distressed it’s horrendous.

“There are a lot of elderly people who don’t have mobile phones. My neighbour has got a security system fixed up with BT, if there’s a burglary, a phone call goes out to the police, it’s very worrying.”

A BT spokesman said that lines should be restored by the weekend saying: “We have repaired the damage and engineers have started to restore service to customers.

“This will continue until everyone is back – which we estimate will be either late on Friday or over the weekend.

“It’s always difficult to predict exactly how long it will take to repair damage to a cable and exactly when a particular customer will be restored.

“Initially the engineering team may have thought it would take longer.

“This is a criminal attack on our network and our engineers are working as hard as they can to complete complex engineering work to all customers service back as quickly as possible.”

The attempt to remove the cables was made through an access point in the street.

BT were unable to confirm exactly how many homes were affected but believe it to be at least 500 premises around Sidcup.

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