Meter tampering was huge fire risk

First published in News

Police officers were horrified when they raided a house in Worton last Thursday and they found the electricity meter had been tampered with so badly it was a fire risk to itself and neighbouring properties.

Officers from Devizes, Trowbridge and Marlbor-ough, along with a sniffer dog team, executed drugs warrants at addresses in the High Street and Whatleys Close.

Small quantities of cannabis and amphetamines were found but it was the state of the electrics at the High Street property that most concerned officers.

PC Pete Lawson, who was on the raid, said: “We had intelligence that the person living there had not topped up his electricity key for some time so we suspected that he was bypassing the meter in some way.

“The cover had been removed from the meter and the wiring had been re-routed in such a way that it was a massive fire hazard.

“The place was stacked to the ceiling with rubbish bags and if one wire had come loose it could have short- circuited and set fire not just to that property, but to the others in the terrace.”

A spokesman for Scottish and Southern Energy said: “Interfering with an electricity meter is not just illegal, but is extremely dangerous.

“It can cause serious injury, or worse, and can also cause extensive damage to the property.

“We urge the public to get in touch with us or the police if they are aware of anyone illegally interfering with an electricity or gas meter.”

Police were acting on intelligence they had received from members of the public and wanted to thank those who had called in with the information.

A man and two women were arrested on suspicion of possession of illegal drugs.

The two women were given cautions but the man has been bailed pending further inquiries.

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