The number of recorded electricity thefts across North Wales are double what they were ten years ago, according to data.

Since 2012, rates of such thefts - where meters are tampered with or bypassed to avoid paying charges - have risen by 75 per cent across Wales and England, passing 3,500 offences for the first time in 2021-22.

The rise - revealed by a BBC investigation - has been blamed on the growth of cannabis farms, crypto-mining and the cost of living crisis.

According to the data for North Wales, there were 13 recorded thefts of electricity in 2012/13 - but in 2022/23, there were 26.

Take a look at this graphic to find out how many were recorded across North Wales in each of the intervening years.

A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said: “The theft of electricity is a growing problem. It is a concerning crime as it can put people’s safety at risk, and support the activities of serious organised crime.

“We know that energy theft holds a significant connection with illegal drugs, and in particular cannabis cultivation, and that this can act as a gateway to other serious crimes that have a very real and negative impact on our communities.

“It is important for businesses and commercial enterprises, particularly those who operate out of large or isolated premises, to remain vigilant around energy theft and report any tampering of their electrical systems to their energy provider, and the police.”


A spokesman for the charity Crimestoppers said: “Stay Energy Safe is run by the independent charity Crimestoppers working with the energy sector. It’s a way for people to report their suspicions of meter tampering and energy theft completely anonymously.

“We have seen an increase in the number of people contacting us about energy theft year on year since 2016. This may be because we have boosted publicity and marketing of our service in recent years (via Google, social media, and radio). 

"It is impossible for us to prove that this year’s increase is fully or partly due to the current economic climate.

"This is because it’s those with suspicions and not the perpetrators who contact us – so we are unaware of the real motivations behind the rise in this type of crime.

“We can also only comment on the volume of information that is passed on via our service, 100 per cent anonymously, which represents only a proportion of the wider picture.”

North Wales Police was approached for a comment.