Phone box smashed glass causes blame game in Mitcham


Phone companies and the police have both failed to repair 10-day-old damaged phone boxes on London Road.


By Rebecca Felgate

Smashed glass is causing a blame game between phone companies and the police as both have failed to repair 10-day-old vandal damage.

Two adjacent phone boxes were the targets of crime on the busy London Road in Mitcham.

Rays Chemist worker Shirley Pearson 49, of Bond Road, said the incident took place outside the pharmacy on Tuesday October 4th and that both the phone boxes and pavement have remained in the same state since.

Another London Road shop owner said the incidents must have taken place between the closing time of her convenience store at 11.30pm and its opening time of 6.30am.

Sunil Patel, 50, also of Rays Chemist, said that the damage had gone unnoticed as nobody knew who to call to solve the problem.

The provider advertised on the phone box, Spectrum Interactive, said they check their boxes “regularly, at least once a week”.

Spokeswoman Debbie Heron said that if there were any issues to report about the box then there is a number provided inside.

However, when questioned about the vandalism Ms Heron was unaware of the damage.

She said: “We have no records of the phones in that area.”

Although it is their contact number in the phone box, Spectrum Interactive said that they were confused and suspected that the boxes had been taken over by rivals BT.

BT were unavailable for comment.

Passerby Ethel May, 80, said: “The damage is disgusting. People could get hurt.”

Merton Police Chief Inspector Mark Lawrence was also unaware of the damage, claiming that the responsibility for damaged phone boxes lies with their provider.

However, Inspector Lawrence said: “If there is any danger involved then clean up goes to the local authority.”

Both Merton Police and Spectrum Interactive claim they are continuing to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, the glass looks set to spend another day on the Mitcham pavement.

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