Bud­dies were box­ing clever

Paisley Daily Express - - Paisley’s Past -

Hun­dreds of house­hold­ers were fid­dling their elec­tric­ity me­ters with lit­tle black boxes.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed in Novem­ber 1987 that the boxes – which turned back the me­ter – were widely used and were man­u­fac­tured in a coun­cil house.

And the Ex­press dis­closed that the most pop­u­lar users of the black boxes were not from less well-off ar­eas but in af­flu­ent mid­dle-class hous­ing es­tates in and around Pais­ley.

The Ex­press man­aged to track down one of the mys­tery men who made the boxes which sold for be­tween £45 and £80 but can save hun­dreds of pounds on the an­nual elec­tric­ity bill.

We were shown one of the boxes which came com­plete with elas­ti­cated strap to hang over the elec­tric­ity me­ter and from one man who makes them a six-month guar­an­tee.

And we were told:“You can make a black box in a cou­ple of hours and you can buy parts from any elec­tri­cal shop.

“When fit­ted, the box re­verses the cur­rent and the me­ter is turned back.

“It’s eas­ily re­moved af­ter you’ve used it and it can­not be de­tected.

“You wouldn’t be­lieve the peo­ple who buy them – they stay in the pri­vate houses in and out­side the town.

“Th­ese peo­ple are so much in debt that they can’t af­ford to pay their elec­tric­ity bill.”

A spokesman for the South of Scot­land Elec­tric­ity Board said: “All meth­ods of theft can be de­tected.”

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