utilitys:do they prosecute for meter tampering?

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[Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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I read an article in the Daily Mail this week about the large numbers of prosecutions taking place fot T.V. licence dodging. The licence fee is £145 and some organisations were complaing that people were getting a criminal record for such a lowly ammount of money.
Has anyone spotted in local newspapers if anyone is being prosecuted for the much more lucrative and dangerous activity of gas and electric theft,I for one havent seen any reported in our local press who report just about everything that go s through the courts.As I am constantly finding meter tamperers nowadays I am a little surprised that I ve never seen any of my many finds ever make it to the local press
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  • Ich_2Ich_2 Forumite
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    I think few rarely go to court for a number of reasons, at the end of the day the suppliers & DNOs ultimately tend to disconnect the supply which often convinces the offenders to pay. If not they can't offend further
  • JoyfulJoyful Forumite
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    Usually for tampering there is no need to go to court. An amount for under usage and then charges are added onto the account and then either disconnection till this is paid takes place or a prepayment meter is installed with the debt added. I am sure there will be cases that go to court as well though.
    ****Released the reins and am now Self employed runnung two business's****
  • edited 22 March 2012 at 9:58PM
    Terrylw1Terrylw1 Forumite
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    edited 22 March 2012 at 9:58PM
    They pursue absolutely all of them but at the of the day, what's in it for them to prosecute? Nothing. As long as they get paid after the estimate the tamper stage, they're happy. Do they want to spend money pursuing charges since it costs the company money to let their staff do that...no chance.

    Until someone reminds them of corporate & social responsibility, it won't happen as it impacts their costs. I've seen the same customer tamper multiple times over several years without anything more than a bill catching up with them and even then it can't be estimated accurately so how much do they get away with?

    I can say I have heard of distributors taking court action against builders employing the well known disconnection queue jumper - "the JCB shovel, whoops, emergency call" method for damaging cables.
    :rotfl: It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!:rotfl:
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    Thanks Joyful,it can be a very dangerous thing to be messing about with meters,at least with the telly licence theres no risk to the neighbours blowing up the house or burning it down, yet the BBC will prosecute.the fine is only around £170 but at least there is some sort of deterrent.The way the Utilitys are working now, if that is the case, is that you can have go at tampering and if you get caught, just pay back what you ve used.Have the Utililitys maybe got some other reasons for their shocking lack of a deterrent, possibly the cost of prosecution? Thinking of their profits maybe?
  • edited 22 March 2012 at 9:58PM
    Terrylw1Terrylw1 Forumite
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    edited 22 March 2012 at 9:58PM
    Absolutely, its cost them. They've already spent money sorting it out.

    Its a matter of responsible vs cost in a category of something no one seems to be monitoring, so cost will always win.

    My question is, what are ofgem doing to get them to do it? Perhaps in about 10 years or so ofgem might get an idea. Elexon should include it in the BSC which would mean they could monitor it as a process, but ive never seen anything or a proposal.
    :rotfl: It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!:rotfl:
  • Ich_2Ich_2 Forumite
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    The whole system is messy.
    The customer pays or doesn't the supplier
    The supplier pays the generators for the electricity
    National Grid to deliver it to the DNO
    the DNO to deliver it to the customer

    If theft is discovered the latter two can claim their costs from the supplier who then has to recover it all
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    I personally do find the same people repeating the tampers, theres a street in a rough part of my town where i work, where I m not kidding, about 10% of the street have been caught and thats from just the ones who will open the door! word gets around that you are not going to get a criminal record.I would go as far as saying that the utilitys are encouraging theft of gas and electric by their lack of action
  • Ich wrote: »
    The whole system is messy.
    The customer pays or doesn't the supplier
    The supplier pays the generators for the electricity
    National Grid to deliver it to the DNO
    the DNO to deliver it to the customer

    If theft is discovered the latter two can claim their costs from the supplier who then has to recover it all

    But in elec, the settlements process is driven outside of the distributors control. The consumption passes from the Data Collector to the Data Aggregator (copy is sent to the supplier) and then the distributor can bill it.

    So in the case of a tamper, the supplier has to calculate anything missing at the Data Collectors end. So, to point at another industry loophole...if the upplie bills the customer but doesn't correct the Data Collectors side, it never get billed to the supplier and the distributor cops for it. Now, who normally does meter tamper and debt work? Collections staff, and they are not usually trained in industry settlement...so the distributor cops for charges because suppliers don't try and correct their settlements.

    Now, I've never seen this settlement part audited in this process in my experience so it might not actually be covered in the BSCP process covering meter tampers. I would have to check. I it is, why is it not monitor?
    :rotfl: It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!:rotfl:
  • sacsquacco wrote: »
    I personally do find the same people repeating the tampers, theres a street in a rough part of my town where i work, where I m not kidding, about 10% of the street have been caught and thats from just the ones who will open the door! word gets around that you are not going to get a criminal record.I would go as far as saying that the utilitys are encouraging theft of gas and electric by their lack of action

    Do you spot a lot of empty B&Q carrier bags in that street as well?;)
    :rotfl: It's better to live 1 year as a tiger than a lifetime as a worm...but then, whoever heard of a wormskin rug!!!:rotfl:
  • SailorSamSailorSam Forumite
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    The only time i've seen anything in the papers about people fiddling the electric is when there has been a drugs raid on a cannabis factory. Apparently the plants take a lot of heating to make them grow.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

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