Isle villages cut off after cable thieves strike

Jenny and Gordon Hobson, of West Butterwick, were angered after they had no phone line for five days. Picture: Andrew Roe

Jenny and Gordon Hobson, of West Butterwick, were angered after they had no phone line for five days. Picture: Andrew Roe

1
Have your say

Fed up residents were left without a phone and internet connection after thieves stole copper cables for the fifth time in little over two years.

Dozens of homes and businesses in West Butterwick and Althorpe were believed to have been affected after criminals took more than 300 metres of cables.

Some properties went nearly a week without full use of their landlines or computers.

BT admitted the area has been hit several times in recent years and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

Resident Jennifer Hobson, 73, of North Street, West Butterwick, 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.”

There were around 100 reported faults but engineers were working hard to reconnect more than 300 metres of cables.

Humberside Police said the incident happened on Derrythorpe Road, Althorpe, in the early hours of Friday, October 7.

The spokeswoman added: “Police have not made any arrests.

“The crime number is 200 2220 and anyone who may have information can call Humberside Police on 101 and quote that number.”

BT confirmed there had been a total of 23 cable thefts in the wider DN17 postcode area in the last two years and a special task force had been set up in February 2010 to deal with the problem.

Earlier this year more than 80 homes were left without phone and internet connections after 1,400m of copper cables were stolen.

A BT spokeswoman said no arrests have yet been made in relation to the latest attack.

She added: “This is an area which has suffered at the hands of cable thieves on several occasions now.

I would appeal to the local community to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious activity in or around the BT network to the police so we can catch those responsible.

“We are also offering rewards for information leading to conviction in conjunction with Crimestoppers.”