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13/05/14: Meter tampering exposed at Blackpool hotels

Four Blackpool promenade hotels have been given prohibition notices after evidence of meter tampering was discovered. Electricity North West logo

A joint exercise by Electricity North West and Blackpool Council found various means of tampering with meters, including devices like cocktail sticks jammed into meters at By the Beach Hotel, Beach Hotel, Inglewood Hotel and Roker Hotel.

The hotels are now set to be called before Blackpool Council’s licensing committee.

The discovery follows months of work by council officers and Electricity North West to crack down on businesses which break the law by tampering with electricity meters.

A number of off licenses and takeaways have already had their premises licenses revoked after being found to have tampered with their meters.

Sue Turner, revenue assurance manager for Electricity North West, said: “We take meter tampering very seriously and electricity abstraction is a criminal offence and puts the safety of people and the property at great risk.

“We will continue our successful partnership with Blackpool Council to crack down on local businesses such as these as it is unacceptable that honest bill-paying residents across the North West are effectively paying for others to have free electricity.”

Councillor Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for public protection, said: “Utility meter tampering is a dangerous crime which we’re working hard to stamp out in Blackpool.

“It is a safety risk and defrauds legitimate businesses who trade fairly and honestly.

“I want businesses to know our fight against this is going to continue and we will name and shame those who continue to try it on.”

Anyone who suspects that an electricity supply has been interfered with can contact Electricity North West’s Revenue Protection Service on 01772 848 229. Your call will be treated in the strictest confidence and your identity will remain anonymous.

Tell tale signs of electricity theft include:

• Burn/scratch marks on cables entering meters
• Burn marks around the base of the meter
• Rogue looped cables
• Missing seals
• Hole in the meter case
• Disc wedged or stopped

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