Skint families are risking their lives to get free electricity as prices rise

Skint families are risking their lives to get free electricity.

They are paying crooked handymen to hack their supply in the face of soaring bills.

Cowboys fit a loop which bypasses the meter.

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But the illegal measure is highly dangerous as the loops are not meant for bigger currents and could lead to a fire.

We visited one council house where the pay-as-you-go meter had been “rigged”.

The owner of the terraced house in Rochdale, Lancs, a 63-year-old granny, did it as she couldn’t pay a £134 debt.

She said: “There’s a few lads going round the estate charging £30-a-go to rig the electric.

"I’m on a meter but can’t afford to top it up and I already owe them money.

“Now I’m getting all my electricity free – which I know is illegal but I’ve mouths to feed.

“I’m not the only person round here doing it.

So it’s stealing electricity – well, it’s daylight robbery what this Government is charging us!”

People stole electricity on a record number of occasions across England and Wales last year.

Data shows police responded to 3,600 reports.

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