Police Scotland issues warning and security advice following reported thefts of heating oil across the north
31st January 2015
Following a number of reported thefts of heating oil and kerosene from rural properties in the north Highlands, Police Scotland are advising local farmers, commercial premises owners and householders to take appropriate security measures to secure their fuel tanks and supplies.
Operating in secluded areas where oil tanks can be easily approached in darkness or under the cover of trees can make the those within the rural communities especially susceptible to this type of theft.
Police Scotland are advising members of the public to take the following precautions to avoid becoming victims of such a crime:
- Check the level of fuel in your tank regularly so you are sure none has gone missing and you always know how much fuel you have.
- Most tanks can be locked at the inspection cover. Make sure your filler cap is lockable. There are lockable filler caps available that can be retro fitted to oil tanks.
- Fit a gate valve security shroud - this prevents the gate valve on the supply pipe to the house from being used to empty the tank.
- Install security lights that come on when there is movement in the garden.
- Consider having a simple alarm system fitted. An inexpensive infra-red model will alert you if there is an intruder on your property and deter a thief.
- Be vigilant. If there is a tanker lorry or a suspicious vehicle in the area spend a few moments thinking about what they are doing. Listen for the sound of an electric pump coming from the vehicle as this is how thieves siphon fuel from the tank.
- If your tank is in a remote area, consider having it moved to a more visible spot. Do not try to conceal it with a fence or panels. This could be illegal and cause a fire hazard.
- Consider installing security gates at your property. This will make it harder for thieves to gain access and protect the area where your oil tank is kept.
Cages and solid metal casings can be made by blacksmiths or bought online for fitting around tanks.
For further advice or guidance on how to protect yourself against such a crime please contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Many web sites show you what can be done to make it harder to steal your oil -
Gloucecestershire police leaflet - http://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/Advice%20Centre/Oil%20Tank%20Security/item9641.pdf
Stop Oil Theft - http://www.stopoiltheft.co.uk/information/12/oil+tank+tips/
http://cilldara.ie/2011/05/oil-tank-security-cageunitcompound/ - Cill Dara - security compounds