Takeaways shut down after surprise swoop

Romero Pizza House, Chapel Brow, Leyland
Romero Pizza House, Chapel Brow, Leyland

Two town centre takeaways were closed last week after staff were accused of illegally tampering with the electricity meters.

Both Capsicum and Romero Pizza House, on Chapel Brow, were shut temporarily by Electricity North West after an unannounced inspection on Wednesday, February 11.

Following the visit, which also involved Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, the police’s licensing team and South Ribble Council’s 
environmental health officers, both takeaways were closed.

They later reopened and no prosecutions are being brought against the firms.

A spokesmen from Electricity North West said: “Business owners were targeted during a successful multi-agency operation in Leyland.

“As a result it was discovered that two properties on Chapel Brow had illegally tampered with their electricity supply.

“We take meter tampering very seriously and electricity abstraction is a criminal offence and puts the safety of tenants, businesses and the general public at great risk.

“It is unacceptable when honest bill-paying residents have to pay for others to have free electricity.”

However, the administrator of Romero’s, who did not want to be named, denied any deliberate wrongdoing.

She told the Guardian: “There was a health and safety issue with the meter, and irregularities due to the bill.

“We closed for a few days to sort it out and opened a week later.

“We have been paying our bills, and the meter had been in the premises for a long time.

“We didn’t know anything was wrong with it, and we strenuously deny tampering with it.”

Nobody from Capsicum was available for comment.