Coventry & Warwickshire

Cable theft leaves Napton without phones for five days

Villagers in South Warwickshire have been without telephone or internet access since Thursday night.

Services were affected as thieves stole more than a mile of copper cabling, a spokesman for BT said.

He added that 170 householders had reported faults in Napton-on-the-Hill, near Southam, and confirmed the cable could serve up to 600 premises.

The post office has been closed since Friday, affecting pension payments in a situation described as "diabolical".

Janet Coldicutt, village shop owner and post mistress, said: "Most of the old people have been able to go to other post offices, but I even offered to lend money to one woman who had no transport.

"The last few days have been diabolical for everyone."

'Lost customers'

Ms Coldicutt added: "We've lost a lot of customers through it. We get a lot of tourists from the canal using the ATM, but we've had to turn them away and we haven't been able to take card payments."

Since the disconnection at 23:30 BST on Thursday, the shop has also had to make orders using a telephone outside the village because of poor mobile reception.

Patricia Walsh, an office manager in the village, said her business telephone was also out-of-action until midday Wednesday.

She said: "The post office has been the most affected in this. She's really important to the village."

Openreach, part of the BT group, has offered a £1,000 reward for anyone giving information that leads to a prosecution for the cable theft.

A spokesman said it was hoped all services would be restored within the next 48 hours.

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