Many of us worry from time to time about theft – the things we mostly hear about and do our best to protect against is burglary, where someone physically accesses your home and takes belongings, and data theft, where your personal data is stolen so that someone can fraudulently obtain access to your money or use it to claim more money fraudulently.
Something that we hear less about is power theft – where someone tampers with a gas or electricity meter, enabling them to steal energy from someone else. It is estimated to cost around 500 million pounds in the UK alone each year – that’s a lot of energy being stolen!
One of the main problems with it is the fact that often, it is done in such a way that the person who is having the electricity or gas stolen from them doesn’t actually realise it. There are many ways that criminals do this, such as using things like hosepipes to divert gas, and some groups will go as far as digging up streets to access free power.
As well as the fact that this is stealing it is also incredibly dangerous to tamper with power supplies – it can cause problems such as gas leaks as well as carbon monoxide poisoning.
There are things that you can do to reduce your risk of it however – if you see someone tampering with a meter that looks suspicious, report this to the police. Many people also like to protect their meter with a Security Seal so you can easily spot if it has been tampered with – acme seals provide security seals if you want to do this.