Police are warning farmers and landowners to guard against fuel thieves, especially now the evenings are getting longer and darker.
With the coming winter the longer nights provide thieves with more opportunities to strike at farms and outbuildings under the cover of darkness.
We would urge farmers to put locks on their supply tanks and, where possible, keep any access gates locked and secure to deter offenders.
Remember to check the diesel level in your tank regularly. Look for spilt fuel, marks on locks or anything else suspicious.
Dealing with farm diesel theft claims over a number of years has revealed that simply fitting padlocks to tanks does not always deter thieves. Sometimes thieves will smash locks, damaging the tank in the process, or simply drill a hole in it to steal diesel.Not only does this mean the tank has to be repaired or replaced – but it also means there is a risk of fuel spills and subsequent pollution.
Rural areas present a very attractive target for thieves in the winter months, and they will be looking to target machinery, vehicles,tanks and anything that houses fuel.
Small adjustments such as installing security lights and ensuring valuable equipment, vehicles and machinery are stored in secure buildings can seriously cut the chances of being a victim of crime. Obviously to best solution is getting a warning system installed when the theft actually occurs so that you can deal with the thieves directly.
10 tips to limit the risk of farm fuel theft
- Deter thieves from entering your property by installing and using lockable gates and by maintaining boundaries and perimeter fencing
- Plant shrubs or install fences to hide diesel tanks from the eyes of opportunist thieves observing in the area
- Consider fitting a locking cap to your tank
- Check tank diesel levels regularly
- Where possible install automatic movement sensor security lighting to cover your tank and the immediate surrounding area
- Note suspicious vehicle registration numbers and report them to the police
- If tanks are located in outbuildings or sheds, ensure these are kept locked
- Be aware that if thieves have already stolen fuel from your tank they may return to steal any replacement diesel you order
- Be especially vigilant following a recent delivery of diesel
- Consider fitting an alarm system that notifies you if fuel is being drained from the tank.