|Thousand Hit As Vandals Cut Through Phone Lines in Ealing|
Metal thieves thought to be responsible for damage
BT has apologised for a disruption to service after vandals cut through eleven underground cables in Ealing.
It happened on Saturday (22nd Feb) and a number of phone lines have been affected in the area.
BT say the vast majority of service has now been restored but Openreach engineers are continuing to work round the clock and are giving this 'top priority' until all service has been restored.
Ian Read, BT spokesman, said:
''Due to malicious damage on eleven underground cables in Ealing on Saturday Feb 22, some business customers in the area are experiencing loss or interruption to service. 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.
''We would appeal for people to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers immediately. The theft of metal is a continuing problem in the UK, affecting many industry sectors.
''Network security is of paramount importance to us, and BT uses many security measures in the fight against cable theft, including RABIT technology that alerts police within minutes of a cable being cut, anywhere in the UK, SmartWater, the invisible paint that tags thieves. SmartWater trap devices are also deployed in hot spot areas with thieves targeting BT property facing being sprayed with the liquid. They will then carry the evidence of their crime on their skin and clothing wherever they go. Alarmed cables and other physical network security measures are also playing their part.''
A BT partnership with Crimestoppers offers up to £1,000 reward for information leading to arrests and subsequent successful convictions. People can call anonymously and free on 0800 555 111.
26th February 2014