Northumbria Police issue warning over commercial fuel thefts

09 December 2021

An image showing someone filling a fuel tank

Northumbria Police have warned that nationally there has been an increase in large scale fuel thefts occurring from transport depots and other commercial premises.

In response, anyone storing bulk quantities of fuel is urged to review on-site security measures, as rural locations can be especially vulnerable due to a lack of informal surveillance and the fact that they can be unattended overnight or at weekends.

Police officers are also asking members to remain vigilant, as these thefts are generally committed by organised crime groups and involve the use of large vehicles.

Security measures should include:

  • Robust perimeter fencing. Ensure gates are locked overnight and conduct regular checks of the perimeter to ensure no breaches have been made
  • Review external security lighting, ensure it is working and the police ideally recommend the use of a dusk to dawn sensor
  • CCTV – entry/exit points should be covered, together with vulnerable assets, such as the fuel tank. Also ensure CCTV is compatible with lighting and that warning signage is displayed
  • Consider installing a fuel management system or monitor. Some devices can set off an audible alarm if the level of oil drops suddenly or a vibration alarm that activates as a result of drilling - sending an alert to a smartphone
  • There are products on the market that can dye or forensically mark fuel. Overt warning signage should be used if this option is considered
  • Ensure warning signage is overtly displayed around the perimeter to promote security measures 

Hexham targeted

A commercial premises in Hexham was one local business targeted, where thieves attempted to steal fuel worth more than £15,000. Fortunately the offenders were disturbed and left the scene before the fuel could be removed.

Reporting an incident

To report any suspicious activity to Northumbria Police, either call the non-emergency number 101 or or visit their website

If a crime is taking place always dial 999.

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