Message sent by Howard Wynne (Police, Admin, Wycombe LPA)
Following the theft of a large amount of oil in the rural area of Marlow, please read and heed the advice below
Theft of heating oil and diesel has been a problem for many years as heating oil and red diesel is an attractive proposition for thieves who actively target fuel tanks at farms and rural domestic properties. If the tank is damaged by thieves it could also cause an environmental catastrophe.
The Oil Firing Technical Association for the petroleum industry (OFTEC) offer advice and guidance for those who use and store oil at their premises. Contact OFTEC on 0845 6585 080 or visit www.oftec.org. There is a security advice leaflet on www.oilsave.org.uk
Where to locate your tank The position can have a significant effect on its vulnerability. If it is close to the house and overlooked then the thief may consider the chances of being seen, too high. If it is close to the road or other access points, then it will be an easier target. Hiding it behind the garage or other structure is commonplace but can be an advantage to the thief. If tanks are to be stored in an outbuilding, then there are strict regulations which must be followed and advice should be sought from the Fire Service and OFTEC.
Padlocks: Closed shackle padlocks offer the most resistance to the bolt cropper.
Control switches: Use control switches to control the flow of oil and isolate the electricity supply when the tank is not in use.
Oil level gauges: Consider using oil level gauges alarms: these remote control alarms activate if the tank level suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. Police-approved tank alarms are available - for more details please visit http://www.securedbydesign.com/
Proximity GSM alarms: Battery operated motion sensor alarms can alert designated mobile phones that motion activity detected around the tank
CCTV: This can be set up to watch over an isolated tank and may act as a deterrent to thieves.
Defensive planting: Nature’s way of helping reduce crime. Thieves will not want to fight their way through or over a thorny hedge. Ripped clothing or blood may help the Police identify an offender.
Walls, Fences and Trellis: Constructed in close proximity to the tank may restrict access.
Cages, Grills and Guards: Metal cages, grills and guards are available with lockable access points. Ensure someone is available when the tank needed to be filled.
Security Lighting: If your tank is visible from your home, this can deter thieves. Low level “dusk til dawn” or PIR motion detection lighting can be an effective crime deterrent.
Remember to check the oil level in your tank regularly, look for any spilt fuel, marks on the locks or anything else suspicious.
Any queries please contact your local Neighbourhood Police Team on 101