Colchester-free homes and businesses are focusing on cables as "thieves."

Colchester-free homes and businesses are focusing on cables as “thieves.”

Thieves, who launch regular broadband strikes across Essex, are leaving hundreds of homes without an internet and network providers are calculating the cost.

Since June last year, the police have dealt with dozens of reports of burglary and theft of cabling from boxes throughout the region.

Openreach, which operates and manages the UK’s digital network, said: “These attacks have caused significant damage to our network and disrupted local telephone and broadband services.”

During the last strike, which the fraudsters launched between midnight and two o’clock in the morning on May 17, cabling was stolen from a box on Colchester Road in West Bergholt.

Dozens of households and businesses were left without hours for the Internet and telephone lines, while Openreach worked to eliminate the problem.

Resident Lisa Barber of nearby Hall Road said so Official letter On Wednesday, “seven or eight” Openreach vans were in place.

She said: “Those bastards had to cut everything in the closet – nothing is safe.

“Our dog barked at about 12:30 on Tuesday. My husband went out with him, but he saw nothing.

“The next morning we could not get Wi-Fi. All properties on Hall Road would be affected, as would the local cooperative and hair salon.

“I should have worked from home and I know a lot of people who do the same thing, but these thieves don’t care, they just want quick money.”

Open-range vans were spotted in West Bergholt after the incident

An Openreach spokesman said: “We are really disappointed in West Bergholt and other parts of Essex regularly carry the burden of criminal behavior.

“Our security team is working closely with the Essex Police and we have put in place additional security measures to protect our network from future attacks.

“Our engineers are working tirelessly to replace the cable, repair the damaged infrastructure and reconnect everyone.

“We encourage people to call 101 and report any suspicious activity to the police.

“Examples of this activity include watching people lift hatches or unusual activities around our network in the fields late at night, especially when it comes to 4×4 vehicles.

“If members of the public believe a crime has occurred, they should call 999.”

A police spokesman said that since June 2021, 50 such incidents had been reported throughout the region.

He added: “Our investigation is still ongoing.”

Anyone with information can call 101 with the crime number 42/123662/22.

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