Theresa Villiers has been in touch with BT Openreach, urging immediate action to ensure that homes and businesses affected are reconnected as quickly as possible. The problem has been caused by deliberate theft of telecoms cabling in High Barnet. Theresa has received a statement from BT saying that engineers are working to assess and repair the damage. Due to location, work can only be done overnight. The first reconnections are expected to take place over the weekend.
Theresa said: “I want to reassure residents that I will continue to keep the pressure on BT to get these repairs done as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary disruption to local businesses and homes. With access to the internet essential for so many day to day tasks, it is vital that these problems are rectified.”
“Metal theft is a serious headache. It causes major problems for churches and for our railway and telecoms network. It is disgraceful that this criminal activity has caused such major inconvenience for so many of my constituents.”
“This Government is determined to tackle metal theft which is why we recently passed legislation to crack down on the sale of stolen metal. There is also considerable industry investment in prevention methods like smart water, which tags thieves by spraying them with an invisible paint, and alarmed cables. These are all playing a part in efforts to stop this disruptive crime.”
Residents of Barnet are asked to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour in or around street cabinets or manhole covers. 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.