Published: 13:17, 01 October 2020
| Updated: 14:08, 01 October 2020
Hundreds of residents and businesses were left without broadband in Bexley and the surrounding areas after an attack on communication cables.
A reward of up to £20,000 is now being offered to capture the culprits.
The latest incident occurred at New Road/Lesnes Abbey Woods on September 2 when a series of cables were taken.
Damaged left hundreds of residential and business customers in Thamesmeadwithout use of their phone lines, broadband and TV services.
It's the ninth incident recorded over a three-month period which has left the surrounding areas without vital services and has also seen street furniture and parkland damaged.
BT's Openreach engineers have been working to restore services to affected customers.
But despite partnering with local law enforcement agencies and deploying a number of security measures, it has not been possible to catch those responsible.
It is believed the culprits may be from the Kent or London area.
Independent charity Crimestoppers is now appealing for information leading to the arrest of those involved and has increased the reward from £1,000 to £20,000.
Alexa Loukas, London regional manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “It’s shocking and sad to think that people would steal vital communications cables knowing that communities, already distressed during the isolation of a global pandemic, will suffer.
“It may seem that this is a victimless crime, but the impact on communities is significant. Cable theft disrupts essential broadband services, affects those trying to work from home, and can even impact on local emergency and vital public services.
"Those involved seem to care little for the consequences of their actions, which is why we are asking anyone with information on those responsible to do the right thing and speak up now.
If you have any information related to these incident please contact the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or comple a secure online form at crimestoppers-uk.org