Search

Suspected cable theft knocks out phone lines for hundreds in Hampstead and Highgate

18:53 27 February 2014

BT says engineers were working round-the-clock to repair damage done by suspected thieves. Picture: Nick Ansell

BT says engineers were working round-the-clock to repair damage done by suspected thieves. Picture: Nick Ansell

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Phone lines across Hampstead and Highgate have been hit by days of outage after a suspected major theft of copper phone cables hit BT’s lines.

Residents have reported not being able to phone certain numbers or receive any calls since Saturday, with the fault thought to be affecting much of north London.

With problems continuing for days, it was discovered the outage was caused by what is thought to have been a major attempt by thieves to steal valuable copper cabling in Ealing.

Engineers working round-the-clock to get the “malicious damage” fixed revealed almost a dozen cables had been cut in the process.

Elaine Mackover, of Alvanley Gardens, West Hampstead, noticed problems with her phone on Saturday.

“People aren’t even aware they have a problem with their phone because they can dial out,” she said.

“But they’re not able to receive calls.

“We were eventually told by a friend that they couldn’t call us and have had to revert to using mobile phones.

“There seems to be a particular problem with the ‘328’ codes.”

The theft of valuable metals like copper has become so rife in recent years BT has pledged to pay a £1,000 reward for anyone providing information that leads to an arrest.

People can call anonymously and free on 0800 555 111.

The firm has also implemented special security measures to combat cable theft, including technology that alerts police within minutes of cables being cut.

Alarmed cables and other physical network security measures are also playing their part.

A spokesman from BT Openreach said: “Openreach engineers have worked around the clock in 12 hour shifts removing damaged cables, clearing underground ducts and completing manual digs to repair collapsed ducts.

“The vast majority of service has now been restored.

“Openreach engineers will continue to work round the clock and give this top priority until all service has been restored.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this criminal act.

“We would appeal for people to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

15:37
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

13:34
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Yesterday, 15:57
The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal

A man convicted of murdering a reclusive author in his Hampstead home will have his case heard at the Court of Appeal because of alleged police failings.

Yesterday, 15:08
Protest against Cycle Superhighway Regent's Park in March. Photo by Adam Tiernan Thomas

Campaigners against the proposed Cycle Superhighway 11 in Camden have welcomed a move by neighbouring Wesminster Council to oppose the scheme.

Yesterday, 14:43
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner from the Movement for Reform Judaism has said she doesn't think MP Naz Shah is anti-Semtiic

Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner welcomed Naz Shah into her home last week for an interfaith feast for Passover - and this morning said that she would like to take the suspended Labour MP to Israel.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe