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

Yesterday, 22:38

In a deeply moving show of community around 200 Hampstead mums and dads with buggies, friends and family joined our march through central London today for the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Yesterday, 17:00

A driver managed to flip a car on its back near the pavement just by Regent’s Park

Yesterday, 13:07

Read a Hampstead resident’s letter which will be delivered to Downing Street and the Foreign Office by Hampstead parents today to reach the Grand Ayatollah

Yesterday, 12:34

As Hampstead parents march on Downing Street today to call for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s release from Iran, editor Emily Banks explains why the Ham&High stand behind them

Around 200 mothers, fathers and children, are calling for Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to take action

Yesterday, 11:24

Detectives have released CCTV footage and images after an elderly woman was injured in a robbery in East Finchley

Yesterday, 10:19

As parents set off to march on Downing Street for Nazanin, green-fingered residents have planted a Belsize Park garden for Nazanin

Friday, December 2, 2016

Police are appealing for witnesses after the death of a woman who was hit by a coach in Camden.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

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

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now