Garages sign up to fuel theft watch

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First published in News

A SCHEME to tackle drivers stealing fuel from petrol stations is to be rolled out to another Oxfordshire district.

Forecourt Watch was set up in the Cherwell area in April 2012 and garages that sign up to the scheme are sent details of stolen number plates, so they can look out for potential fuel thieves.

Now all 22 stations in the district are signed up, along with 16 in West Oxfordshire.

Last year, the Oxford Mail reported thieves had targeted petrol pumps 4,665 times between January 2009 and August 2013 – making off without paying for petrol and diesel worth a total £237,776.

Sgt Kevin Tobin, of the Cherwell Officer Support Team, said: “Working with the police enables garages to reduce thefts from forecourts by an average of 25 a month.

“The scheme provides early information on stolen number plates allowing forecourt staff to take action to prevent offences being committed.”

Supt Colin Paine, local area commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, said: “Petrol stations have been visited by local officers to encourage their participation and evidence packs will be provided to enable forecourt staff to report offences quickly and accurately.”

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