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Police warn Pembrokeshire communities to be vigilant to fuel thieves

Police warn Pembrokeshire communities to be vigilant to fuel thieves Dyfed-Powys Police is urging people and businesses in Pembrokeshire to remain vigilant to fuel thieves who target the public for fuel oil used for heating, and businesses for diesel from vehicles.

The warning follows incidents across the county, when heating oil from homes, caravans and diesel from lorries has been siphoned-off and stolen. Officers are urging communities and businesses to support each other and the police to tackle these crimes and are encouraging the public and businesses to liaise with their local Neighbourhood Watch Groups.

PC James Colley said: “Given the current high price of fuel it’s highly likely that fuel thefts will increase and we’re continuing to see a spike in this type of crime in the county. While, we utilise all resources to catch offenders, it’s vital individuals, businesses and communities do all they can to protect themselves from falling victim. “For instance, make sure fuel tanks are not visible from the highway, if they are try and disguise them in some way for e.g. behind a trellis, hedge or a fence. Also, place pebbles or stones around the area of the tank so if anyone does walk around it you can hear them and if they shouldn’t be there report them to the police.

“In order to tackle fuel thieves it’s important that local communities and businesses remain observant and report any suspicious vehicles including cars, vans and lorries in the area. The best way to tackle this type of crime is for the public and the police to work together.”

Police are urging both householders and businesses to take a few simple steps to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of fuel thieves. Businesses are being advised to: Please make sure gates and compounds are locked and secure, consider fitting anti-attack covers for locks Check that vehicles are parked in well-lit areas and can be seen by passing vehicles/persons Where possible park vehicles against solid objects on the fuel tank side to prevent access Ensure that vehicle fuel caps are locked and secure. Don’t leave vehicle keys in vehicles Arrange for checks of vehicles and premises outside of working times, i.e. evenings and weekends If you have CCTV systems ensure that the exterior lighting is working to help enhance images. Put a camera on any tanks/vehicle Residents who have heating oil in storage tanks are advised: Be aware of your oil levels and check frequently Where possible keep your levels low and the same when re-filling Speak to your supplier with regards to more frequent but smaller deliveries If you have a plastic tank, consider erecting trellis-style fencing around the tank with one end hinged and locked for filling purposes. The trellis should be fixed to solid posts and should be set off the tank approximately 12 inches on all sides. The same should be fixed to the top as well If you have a steel tank, then fit a quality anti-cut close-shackled padlock If you have outside security lighting, then please ensure that the system works and that the light sensors have been adjusted correctly to detect movement Police are urging anyone with information of persons going out with drums and pipes to steal fuel to please contact either their local police station on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.