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Broadband broken in Lincolnshire: Families crippled by copper criminals

Dozens of residents and companies in the Lincolnshire villages of Althorpe and West Butterwick have been left without broadband for weeks thanks to copper criminals. 

The thieves stole more than 300 metres worth of cable, leaving some homes and businesses without broadband or landline access for almost a week. 

To make matters worse, this is the fifth time the areas have been hit by copper theft in the last two years. 

Broadband broken in Lincolnshire: Families crippled by copper criminals

Read our guide to copper cable theft and BT’s RABIT technologyResident Jennifer Hobson, 73, of North Street, West Butterwick, speaking to local paper the Doncaster Free Press said: “It happens all too often and causes a major inconvenience for us.

“My husband Gordon is disabled and likes to use the internet to catch up on football results, I use it to book trips away. My daughter kept ringing the house phone but couldn’t get through.

“It was out for a good four or five days. You feel a little isolated when incidents like this happen.”

BT has noted that there had been a total of 23 cable thefts in the wider area in the last two years. 
So far, nobody has been arrested in connection with the latest cable theft. Introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act should make it harder for theives to sell on their stolen wares. Under the new laws, cash payments for scrap are now illegal and traders must keep a record of their customer’s licence plates and contact details. 

A Humberside Police spokesperson has urged people to come forwards with any information they have: “The crime number is 200 2220 and anyone who may have information can call Humberside Police on 101 and quote that number.”

Image: Phil_Parker/Flickr