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Fuel / Heating Oil Thefts

Fuel / Heating Oil Thefts


Over the last month there has been a significant increase in the number of reports of theft of fuel and heating oil in the Scottish Borders.


Thieves can syphon fuel from tanks within minutes and tanks that are not properly protected are easy targets.


There have been instances of thefts from fuel containers and from vehicle fuel tanks, either on farmyards, construction sites and even from heavy goods vehicles parked up in layby’s.



Fuel tank theft prevention


It’s important to put measures in place to protect your fuel tank and make it extremely difficult for thieves to target your fuel.


Locate in safe location many thieves use Google Maps to find satellite images of fuel tanks. Consider locating your tank behind a garage or shed and away from roads. Positioning it close to your business or home will ensure it’s in clear view. Remember to locate the tank away from any risk of obstruction and ensure its easily accessible for delivery drivers. Locate inside a security gate or cage a good quality, robust fence or cage will help make life difficult for thieves.


Install an alarm – consider fitting alarms to external gates surrounding your fuel tank or to the inside of a shed or outbuilding that is housing the tank.


Fit a fuel theft lock – Thieves often come armed with tools so it’s worth investing in quality locks, locking fuel caps and anti-siphoning deterrents to slow down the criminals and reduce the likelihood of success. Locks with a CEN or BSEN 12320 Grade 6 classification indicate maximum security (Grade 1 is the least secure)


Install outdoor security lighting- positioning your tank in the bright light is an effective solution worth considering. With the majority of thieves striking at night, installing automatic security lighting will help stop criminals from targeting your fuel tank. Low energy dusk till dawn lights are a low-cost option to protect your expensive fuels and oils.


Install CCTV- Installing visible CCTV cameras on your premises can dissuade anyone from targeting your tank as well as catch a thief in the act, providing the police with the evidence required to bring justice to those who choose to ignore the deterrent.


Put up signage– to highlight the security measures you’ve installed can help deter those up to no good. These could include: Private property, Keep out, Warning CCTV in Operation, All vehicles are left with minimum fuel, Security Patrols in operation, All vehicles fitted with security devices, etc.


You can also find helpful advice and products from Secure By Design (SBD) here:

Secured by Design (SBD) is the official police security initiative that is owned by the UK Police Service with the specific aim to reduce crime and help people live more safely.


Please report any suspicious vehicles or activity to Police immediately by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.


If you would like more information or advice on farm security or protecting properties in rural areas, please feel free to respond to this email.


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