Energy theft is costing hundereds of millions of pounds in the UK, particularly in the North East, which is why the crime solving charity Crimestoppers is launching a campaign to highlight the dangers of tampering with energy meters.
£400 million of energy is stolen from meters every year, and the new campaign will raise awareness on the dangers the crimes pose with more than 25,000 incidents of electricity theft and 3,200 gas theft during 2012/13 in the UK.
Newcastle and neighbouring Gateshead will be the focus of the campaign, appealing to local communities for information on those who commit the crimes.
Dave Hunter, North East Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said: “While some will see energy theft as a victimless crime, I can categorically state this is not the case.
“Tampered meters have seen lives endangered and people hospitalised – and for what? A small saving on an energy bill – is it really worth it?”