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BT copper cable crime cripples Croydon communications connections

Homes and businesses in Croydon have been without phone or broadband connections for over a week after thieves damaged 140m of copper cable.

Crimestoppers and BT Openreach are offering a reward of up to £1000 to anyone who can provide information about who stole the cable, which leads to arrests and conviction.

The incident occurred at around 5.20pm on September 24, at Church Road, near the flyover in the London borough when four large underground cables were subjected to “malicious damage.”

Fibre optic copper cables were damaged in Croydon
Fibre optic copper cables were damaged in Croydon

Bernie Auguste, head of Openreach Security, said: “This malicious damage to our network has resulted in communities and businesses in the surrounding area to be without telephone and broadband services, causing disruption to thousands of people.

“This incident occurred at a busy time of day and we are calling on anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in and around the Church Road area to contact Crimestoppers.”

BT Openreach said it is working around the clock to fix the damage, but as yet the company has not given any information about when services can be expected to be up and running again.

Regan Hook, London campaigns manager for Crimestoppers, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating when you lose your communication services due to foolish crimes such as this.

“Stand up for your community and tell us who is responsible for this crime so it doesn’t happen again and those responsible receive the punishment they warrant.”

The Croydon attack is the latest copper cable theft. Last week, thousands of residents in Durham were left without working phone or broadband lines after lines were stolen from Norton Road, close to Billingham Bypass Road on Sunday, September 14, at around 11.20am.

One woman aged 28 and two men, aged 26 and 28, were arrested on suspicion of theft over the weekend, although all have since been released on police bail.

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