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News / City Life

It’s illegal to charge your phone on the Overground, it turns out

London Overground train
© Jim Linwood

Ever wondered what those little electricity sockets on London Overground trains are for? No, we’ve no idea either (late-night FIFA tournaments between drivers?). But what we CAN tell you is that they’re most definitely NOT for charging your phone with. One traveller found this out the hard way last week, after the bleedin’ rozzers only went and bloody nicked him for doing precisely that on a journey between Hackney and Camden.

Forty-five-year-old artist Robin Lee was slapped in cuffs and taken into custody on July 10 after being confronted by a Police Community Support Officer, who cited section 13 of the Theft Act 1968. The section refers to ‘abstracting electricity’, an offence that carries a maximum sentence of five years in the slammer. 

Lee was later de-arrested, but then re-arrested for unacceptable behaviour. Presumably the sort of behaviour that results from a jobsworth po-po getting fresh about you casually topping up your battery.

It’s probably still best to avoid using the sockets, mind – the electrical current feeding them can surge as the train moves along the tracks, and could therefore potentially blow your puny iPhone to smithereens. Even with a potential ‘Candy Crush’ high score on the cards, it’s probably not worth it.

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