With 150,000 cases of energy theft investigated every year, Crimestoppers has partnered with the industry to launch Stay Energy Safe to host a first of its kind anonymous reporting service for the public to report energy related crime.
The service urges people to ‘pull the plug’ on energy crime by coming forward to report any suspicions or evidence of crime, either through the website or on the dedicated number 0800 023 2777.
Ofgem states that the reported cost of energy theft to the UK public is around £440 million per annum. This would be enough to power over 400,000 homes.
However, tampered and bypassed meters are costing the UK more than money. The risk to life and property is very real, as some seek new ways to cheat the system.
One reported incident in Glasgow saw an elderly, housebound woman tragically lose her life following a fire that was caused by a meter that had been tampered with by her son, who also lived in the house. She died of smoke inhalation, and he was prosecuted. The energy company in question subsequently visited other flats in the block of eight and found another four with a similar type of by-pass.
Around 1,500 people in the UK are charged by the police for energy theft each year. If found guilty, they are likely to have to pay back the value of energy stolen, plus the costs of the investigation. But the outcome can also include community service, or even a prison sentence of up to five years.
Energy theft costs the UK hundreds of millions of pounds each year and puts people's lives at risk.
To report an incident of energy crime call the Energy Safe reporting service on 0800 023 2777 or fill out an anonymous, non-traceable form at Stay Energy Safe.
Lincolnshire Housing Partnership Limited registered as a charitable Community Benefit Society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 with registered number: 7748. Registered Office: Westgate Park, Charlton Street, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire DN31 1SQ