Cable theft puts residents at risk

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A SHELTERED housing scheme is looking at ways to help its most vulnerable residents after a recent cable theft cut off phone lines for three days.

Residents at Field View, in New Green, Thurston, are able to sound an alarm in the event of an emergency, but the system relies on working phone lines.

When, on March 3, phone lines in Thurston went down for three days, some of the scheme’s most vulnerable residents were without any means of contact.

Sue Philp, from Suffolk Housing Society, which runs the scheme, said it was not alerted to the problem until Monday.

She said: “If this had happened at a time when there was a crisis, it would have been awful.”

A scheme co-ordinator is on site during week days, but Suffolk Housing is now looking at keeping mobile phones on site for its vulnerable residents to use in emergencies.

The theft, of around 450 metres of cabling, resulted in around 190 faults being reported to BT.

A police spokesman said the theft was reported at around 2am on March 3 and involved an estimated £15,000 worth of cabling being stolen from Ixworth Road, in Thurston.

BT engineers cleared the bulk of the works by March 6, leaving a small number of residual faults to be cleared.

Cllr Sarah Bullen, from Thurston Parish Council, said: “It’s appalling that people think it’s a good idea to inconvenience so many people to make money and the fact that there’s still a market out there for it is equally bad.”

Attacks on BT’s network generate tens of thousands of faults each year.