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Heating oil and red diesel

Alert message sent 21/08/2020 14:57:00

Information sent on behalf of Staffordshire Police

Theft of heating oil and diesel has been a problem for many years, as heating oil and red diesel is an attractive proposition for thieves, who actively target fuel tanks at farms and rural domestic properties. If the tank is damaged by thieves in the process of the theft, it could also cause an environmental catastrophe.

Where to place your tank - the position of the tank can have a significant effect on it's vulnerability. If it is close to the house and overlooked by anyone then the thief may consider the risks of being seen too high. If it further away and close to roads then it could be an easier target. Hiding it behind a garage or other building could also make it easier for thieves a they would be hidden.

Security measures -

Padlocks - Closed shackle padlocks offer the most resistance to a bolt croppers.

Control switches - Use control switches to control the flow of oil and isolate the electric supply when the tank is not in use.

Oil level gauges - Consider using oil level gauge alarms; these remote alarms activate if the level of oil suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full.

Proximity GSM alarms - Battery operated motion sensor alarms can alert designated mobile phones that motion activity is detected around the tank.

CCTV - This can be set up to watch isolated tank and may act as a deterrent to thieves.

Defensive planting - Nature's way of helping reduce crime. Thieves will not want to fight their way through or over a thorny hedge. Ripped clothing or blood would help Police identify the offender.

Walls, fences and trellis - Constructed in close proximity to the tank may restrict access.

Cages, grills and guards - Metal cages, grills and guards are available with lockable access points.
Ensure someone is available when the tank needed to be filled.

Security lighting - If your tank is visible from your home then this can deter thieves. Low level 'dusk til dawn' or PIR motion detection lighting can be an effective crime deterrent.

Remember - to check the oil level in your tank regularly, look for any spilt fuel, marks on the locks or anything else suspicious.

And please report anyone suspicious that you see hanging around your property, including vehicle details, descriptions of people and what they are doing.

Many thanks,
Message sent by
Louise Jones (Police, PCSO, Rural & Wildlife Crime Officer, South Staffordshire)

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