Villages hit as cable thieves strike again

another Doncaster village has been blighted by cable thieves who have left people without phone and internet access for days.

This time it is residents of Moorends who are the latest victims of gangs who are stealing underground telecoms cable for its high scrap value.

And the village of Hatfield has been hit for the second time in less than three weeks.

Almost 200 people in Moorends reported faults with their lines after the theft of the cable from Marshland Road in the early hours of Wednesday, August 31, but more could have been affected without reporting it.

BT Openreach engineers are again working around the clock to instal new cable and reconnect household and business lines.

A spokesman for BT said yesterday: “A cable was stolen in Hatfield, with currently 30 faults reported. Engineers are working around the clock on this one to install 470 metres of new cable.

“All the new cable should be in by the end of Tuesday and the jointing engineers are waiting to start putting customers back on one by one and will stay round the clock until completion. Unless there are any problems with the repair we are confident all service will be restored by the end of Wednesday.”

The spokesman said re-connecting those individuals cut off in Moorends had been “painstaking work”.

Because the problem of cable theft has become so bad in Doncaster – with similar incidents in Stainforth, Lindholme and Arksey – the standard Crimestoppers reward for information leading to conviction has been doubled to £2,000.

“As this incident demonstrates, cable theft has serious repercussions for communities and we’d appeal to local residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately.

“Network security is of paramount importance to BT and we are constantly reviewing our processes to make sure our infrastructure protection is robust.”

To combat cable theft, BT’s security unit has established a nationwide intelligence-led taskforce whose strategy includes attending crime scenes, liaising closely with police and visiting scrap metal dealers.

More than 400 people have been arrested across the UK for stealing from the BT network in the past year.

The company is also deploying SmartWater to tag cable.

Residents concerned about suspicious behaviour can report it either directly to the police or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.