A big-name construction company has been ordered to pay thousands of pounds after being caught illegally tapping into the water network in Dartford and Swanscombe.

Despite previously being warned by Thames Water, Quattro Plant Ltd was caught using water supplies through dodgy rig-ups across the Thames Valley and Kent on seven occasions.

One such offence took place in Rennie Drive in Dartford while another two took place in Castle Hill in Swasncombe, all occurring between January and April of this year.

The company pleaded guilty to multiple offences at Thames Magistrates’ Court and was fined more than £8,000.

Staff from Thames Water had met with the troublesome company several times to discuss the issue but they seemingly continued to offend.

Any company wanting to take water from the network must obtain a licence and correct standpipe from the supplier, which in this case is Thames Water.

Failure to do so means not only is any water taken not paid for but there is no way of measuring how much is taken so it all gets counted as leakage.

Stephen Johnston, a Thames Water investigator, said: "We will always look to work with companies to make sure they are working within the law but Quattro did not listen.

"While other operators do everything properly, it is not fair that some think the rules do not apply to them.

"This is something we take extremely seriously and we hope the level they have to pay sends out a message that this is not acceptable."

Quattro, based in Stratford, admitted seven offences under the water industry act and was fined £4,267 as well as being ordered to pay costs of £3,671.55 along with a victim surcharge of £66.

Can you help?

Anyone who suspects water is being stolen from the network is asked to contact Thames Water. To report water network abuse, email illegalconnections@thameswater.co.uk or call customer service on 0800 980 8800.