New initiative launched to crack down on fuel thieves

Fuel Additive Science Technologies Ltd has teamed up with Nottinghamshire Constabulary in a bid to put a stop to fuel thieves causing misery to local businesses.

How a solution from an industry supplier is working to reduce fuel theft.

Officers from the Worksop Neighbourhood Policing team alongside our rural crime lead, Police and Crime Commissioner, and representatives from FAST Exocet, met with farmers, haulage companies, and businesses who are often the victims of fuel theft.

The initiative has one aim – to help prevent and deter criminals from stealing fuel from businesses.

Trial solution

After recognising the challenges faced in rural areas – where offenders on quad bikes wreak havoc stealing diesel, damaging crops, and fencing – a new idea was formed to join forces with FAST Exocet, a diesel dye company that offers the only notified HMRC fuel dye.

At the event, free bottles of the blue dye were handed out for companies to add to their fuel storage tanks making it ultimately less appealing to target, but also enabling the police to identify if fuel has been stolen.

The team also spent time answering questions put to them on how they are working to take the fight to rural criminals. This is the first time the force has trialled a scheme like this with hopes of rolling it out county­wide.

An effective deterrent

Worksop sergeant Mark Talbot, who came up with the idea, said: “This scheme is another tool for us to try and not just react but actively deter and prevent crime from occurring.

“We know fuel theft affects our businesses, not just in Bassetlaw but also other rural communities throughout Nottinghamshire, so implementing something like this is so important to crack down on criminals causing havoc to our rural communities.

“We’re regularly out on operations targeting thieves and criminals and have had some great results in the last few months, confiscating hundreds of litres of fuel, but there’s always more we can do to help, and that’s why I came up with this plan.

“We can only achieve this with the help and support of members of our community so by working with farmers, haulage companies, and businesses in the area we’re working together to safeguard our rural spaces and tackle diesel theft head-on.”

Significant impact on fuel theft

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “I’m excited by this new diesel dye project because I think it will make a big impact to reduce fuel theft offences and give the rural community reassurance that we are striving to find new and innovative ways to safeguard them.

“It will make it much easier to identify suspects and link them to offences and take action that could stop persistent offenders in their tracks.

“What I love about this is it is another example of doing things first in Nottinghamshire and I think Neighbourhood Inspector Hayley Crawford and Sergeant Mark Talbot have done a great job with this pioneering scheme.”