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Electricity theft arrests now at 304 since start of year

Published:Monday | July 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Public Service (JPS) is reporting that operations carried out in collaboration with members of the security forces have resulted in the arrest of 304 persons for the illegal abstraction of electricity since the start of the year. JPS crews have also pulled down 9,512 throw-up lines up to the July 15 period.

This, as crews have been relentlessly pursuing the perpetrators of electricity theft. Last week, the teams' latest move saw the St Catherine community of Windsor Heights in Central Village being rid of 850 throw-up lines. One man was arrested, but several others fled from their residences to avoid being associated with the illegal connections.

On June 30, nine persons were brought before the Spanish Town Resident Magistrate's Court for the illegal abstraction of electricity. Six of them pleaded guilty and were fined an average of $150,000 each or six months in prison. Following that, on July 1, five persons were brought before the Linstead Resident Magistrate's Court with the same charge. Four pleaded guilty and were also fined an average of $150,000 each.

JPS is reminding non-paying users of electricity that regularisation is a straight-forward process. The company is also anticipating that its Community Renewal programme in seven communities in Kingston will assist in creating sustained regularisation through public education and practical assistance (such as house wiring), among other measures.