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Cable thieves targeting Croydon, says BT security manager

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HUNDREDS of residents and businesses had their phone and internet lines cut for more than a week – after underground cables were damaged in a suspected theft attempt.

BT cables covering "a wide area" in and around Southbridge Place, next to the Croydon Flyover, were affected on last Tuesday (February 19).

A BT spokesman said it was working "around the clock" to fix the problem, but service was likely to be disrupted for some well into this week.

He added: "We would appeal to residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately."

Surgical Instrument Group Holdings Ltd, based at the IO Trade Centre in Croydon Road, was still without phone lines on Tuesday – seven days after the initial damage was caused.

Managing director David Peddy said: "We lost our phones, our fax, e-mails, internet. We had our landline diverted through my mobile and our laptops are using the adjacent company's wi-fi.

"Customers cannot get through to us, send us orders or ask for information."

Mr Peddy was getting increasingly frustrated with the pace of repairs and what he described as poor communication from BT.

His company makes, sells and repairs reusable surgical instruments such as forceps and scissors, and supplies hospitals across the country.

"I have spoken to our provider who is speaking to BT, but we have to keep chasing them."

The BT spokesman said engineers have brought in replacement cabling and were "jointing those affected back into service".

He added: "We have now restored some of those affected and this will increase as work progresses around the clock.

"We are doing all we can to get this completed as quickly as possible, but it is likely to be well into next week before absolutely everyone is back in service."

Crimestoppers and BT Openreach are offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information about the damage.

Simon Davies, security manager at BT, said: "Cable thieves seem to be targeting Croydon once again with other incidents having occurred close by recently. If you have any information on activity around a manhole in Southbridge Place, mid-morning last Tuesday, contact Crimestoppers now and help safeguard your community services."

If you have information, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Cable thieves targeting Croydon, says BT security manager


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