Is abstracting electricity a criminal or civil offence?

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    Is abstracting electricity a criminal or civil offence?

    As the title.

    And does Article 6 "2 Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law." apply?

    My T has been accused of removing the seals on the meter. T says she hasn't done it. The electric meter cupboard isn't locked and anyone could have messed with it.

    #2
    Is this a shared property or are you really just talking about her and her guests when you say 'anyone'?

    Comment


      #3
      Abstracting electricty (in England and Wales) is a criminal offence with a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.

      The power company is more likely to sue someone for their losses, though, because the burden of proof is lower.

      For the criminal charge the innocent until proven guilty applies - but it always has a very limited application.

      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Does she keep copies of here bills for electricity for all her tenancy ?

        im very surprised that this accusation is being made TBH, so they must have grounds ....

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
          Is this a shared property or are you really just talking about her and her guests when you say 'anyone'?
          Yes, it's anyone. The meter is in a cupboard with external access and has no lock on it. All the properties are like this in her area. So anyone with a grudge (and I've no reason to think anyone would have a grudge against her) or just being up to no good, could have removed the seals.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            Abstracting electricty (in England and Wales) is a criminal offence with a possible sentence of up to five years in prison.

            The power company is more likely to sue someone for their losses, though, because the burden of proof is lower.

            For the criminal charge the innocent until proven guilty applies - but it always has a very limited application.
            The supplier is wanted to charge her for the inspection and repair which comes to over £800. They told me that the charge was for electricity that the T has used due to the meter being bypassed and I asked them what evidence did they have that the meter was actually bypassed rather than just having the seals removed. But they stuck to their guns - that the bill was for benefitting from a meter by pass.

            So the supplier has given two different reasons. One to me and a different one to T.

            I've asked for a transcript of my conversation with X at the supplier on X date at X time.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Neelix View Post
              Does she keep copies of here bills for electricity for all her tenancy ?

              im very surprised that this accusation is being made TBH, so they must have grounds ....
              Yes, she's had bills. I don't know if she's kept them all though. I hope she's paid by bank transfer.

              The supplier says the meter was bypassed a year into her tenancy. I asked them how they knew this but didn't get a satisfactory answer. To have given a specific year, which was several years ago, surely they should have raised it as an issue then? They should have read the meter at some time during the tenant's tenancy as it's in an accessible cupboard ie no lock on it.

              Comment


                #8
                The Utility Company will make the person who pays the bills responsible, it is up to them to prove that they did not do it. Suggest that your tenant contacts the Citizen Advice and in the meantime keep a daily/weekly record of meter readings. And suggest that whenever the meter was installed the electrician "forgot" to put new seals on, and since then, nobody has noticed, and if in the meantime the consumption of electricity has not increased surely that is a good argument for negligence by the original meter installer.
                And contact "Ofgem" and raise a complaint. (I once made a complaint about an incorrect water bill for £3090.00 which was upheld and the water company had to write off the full amount)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Since this issue has been raised I've learnt how to bypass the meter. It seems surprisingly easy. What people do is split the incoming wire so some of the electricity goes through the meter via one wire and some goes direct to the consumer unit. That way people get some elec on the bill and some for 'free'.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I don't see how the supplier would know when the meter was bypassed.

                    The people who actually supply the power to the meter would be able to tell if it was bypassed "now" by checking it, but that's not necessarily who the tenant's supplier is.

                    It would be interesting if the meter was smart enough to know when it stopped recording any usage.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Piffy,

                      Yes, the tenant is taking it up with Ofgem.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        jpkeates,

                        The meter cupboard is accessible from the outside of the property so I assume at some point during the tenancy the meter has been read. The tenancy has been around 6 years or so. If the supplier said it was by passed in X year then they must have noticed when they read the meter yet did nothing about it. It was the tenant's supplier who came round and fixed it.

                        The meter didn't stop recording usage, but you can partly by-pass the meter by making some of the elec go thru' the meter and some direct to the consumer unit.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          criminal if it is intended to deprive the owner of it section 1 of the theft act

                          Comment


                            #14
                            So would the elec supplier have to prove that the meter was by-passed, rather than just the seals removed?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              My late father in laws electricity meter stopped recording usage, and wasn’t asked for any money !

                              this all sounds odd, are you sure you are being told everything ?

                              Comment

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