5. Theft from meters
Any form of interference with a meter, whether by electronic interference or some method specifically devised to obtain fuel belonging to another without payment, constitutes an offence under the Theft Acts 1968.
Very few prepayment coin operated meters now remain. However, if your coin meter is broken into, you have two problems:
•convincing the supplier that you were not responsible for the theft; and
•the supplier may want you to pay not only for damage to the meter, but also for the stolen contents of the meter.
If you discover a coin meter theft:
•report it to the police as soon as practicable and obtain a crime reference number. This will help rebut allegations that you are responsible;
•ask to see your supplier’s codes of practice, internal policies or staff guidelines. Some of these are not published, in order that they cannot be taken advantage of dishonestly, but it is always worth checking as they may be more generous than the minimum provisions of the law;
•check your home insurance policy to ascertain if a claim can be made for theft from prepayment meters.