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Hundreds left without phone lines, broadband and TV after communications cables stolen in Abbey Wood

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 September 2019

Engineers are already working hard to replace the stolen cables and get customers back online. Picture: Openreach

Engineers are already working hard to replace the stolen cables and get customers back online. Picture: Openreach

Archant

Communications cables have been stolen in Abbey Wood - cutting the phone, television and internet from hundreds of homes and businesses.

Now Crimestoppers and Openreach are appealing for information after the theft.

And they are also offering up to £1,000 as a reward available for information that results in the conviction of those responsible for the incident.

Crimestoppers, along with phone and broadband provider Openreach, say that in one incident large sections of live cable were pulled from the underground communications network along New Road, Abbey Wood. The theft occurred between 1am and 4am on August 29.

The damage has left hundreds of residential and business customers in Thamesmead without use of their phone lines, broadband and TV services. Significant damage was also caused to the adjacent public space, where cables have been dragged into woodland. Openreach engineers are working to restore services.

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Alexa Loukas, London regional manager at Crimestoppers, said: "The people behind these crimes care little about the consequences or the fact that hundreds of residents and businesses have been affected with a loss of broadband, telephone and TV services. The impact and disruption cannot be underestimated.

"This is not a victimless crime and we are urging anyone with information on those behind the thefts to speak up.

"We know that some people feel unable to speak directly to authorities which is why Crimestoppers is here to help. You can tell our charity what you know whilst protecting your identity and staying 100 per cent anonymous. Always. We've kept that promise since we began over 31 years ago."

And Bernie Auguste, director of security services for Openreach, added: "These incidents have severely impacted the day-to-day lives of people across south east London.

"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."

Relevant information can always be reported to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through the online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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