Stay Energy Safe, the service powered by Crimestoppers allowing members of the public to report energy crime, has seen almost two thousand pieces of information received in 2017 between January and the start of December.
Launched in September 2016, the anonymous reporting service saw Crimestoppers partner with the energy industry to offer the public an outlet to report energy crime at stayenergysafe.co.uk, as well as through a dedicated phone number, 0800 023 2777.
In the first 11 months of 2017, the service received 1,934 pieces of information, with a further 454 pieces received through Crimestoppers’ 0800 555 111 number and online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Information on energy crime also saw a 70% increase in the last quarter (September – November 2017) compared with the same period last year (September – November 2016).
96 of the UK’s energy providers and distributors are working with the charity to help eliminate energy crime, and the service has seen a positive response in its first full year in operation.
There are of course safety risks to meter tampering and energy crimes, with gas explosions and fires having the potential to decimate a property.
This festive season many of us will be feeling the pinch at the most expensive time of the year and for a minority, energy theft and meter tampering is a way of saving money.
Sometimes, energy bills can seem unaffordable at this time of year, and a few people look for ways to save money on their bills.
Some people try bypassing or tampering with their gas and electricity meters so that they don’t record how much energy is being used.
Roger Critchell, director of operations for Crimestoppers, said: “Energy theft is not a solution and is a crime.
“Organisations such as Citizen’s Advice and the Energy Saving Trust are available to those who have concerns over their finances and energy bills, so rather than committing a crime, reach out to them.
“If you know of someone who is committing energy crime or is tampering with their meter, speak up and help keep your community safe. I promise that you will remain 100% anonymous. Always.”
If you have any information on energy crimes or meter tampering call Stay Energy Safe on 0800 023 2777 or use the anonymous non-traceable form at www.stayenergysafe.co.uk