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Forecourt Work

by msecadm4921

West Yorkshire Police in City and Holbeck have cut the number of fuel thefts from filling stations in the division by half following the launch of the Forecourt Crime Initiative six months ago.

All 27 garages within the division signed up to the initiative, which aims to cut the number of people deliberately driving off from the pumps without paying through the use of special Fuel Theft Reporting Packs containing blank statement forms, sealable CCTV evidence bags and 24-hour contact details for officers.

A total of 192 make off without payment offences were committed before the launch of the initiative in August 2008, but this figure has now been cut to just 97 offences – a 49pc reduction.

A total of 159 incidents were reported between September 2008 and February 2009 but quick work between the garage owners and police led to 62 motorists being traced and contacted, and revisiting filling stations to pay their debt before a criminal offence was recorded.

PC James Hinchcliffe is responsible for overseeing the Forecourt Crime Initiative, which originally aimed to cut fuel thefts in the City and Holbeck Division by 30pc within the first year.

PC Hinchcliffe said: "There has already been a massive drop in the number fuel thefts across the Division, and this is down to quick work between the garages and us as part of the Forecourt Crime Initiative.

"Being able to quickly trace those responsible has led to a large number of people coming back to pay for the fuel, which cuts crime and ultimately reduces the costs which garages have to recover as a result of the thefts."

Investigations into fuel thefts in the division led to the arrest of 10 people, with one man admitting a further 15 offences.

PC Hinchcliffe said: "Although fuel costs have dropped noticeably since the initiative started, garages could still be targeted in the current financial climate so we’re going to keep up the hard work.

"Many garages and filling stations also invested in better security and CCTV equipment when they signed up to the Forecourt Crime Initiative following advice from officers, so there’s a much better chance of thieves being caught than ever before and we hope to continue driving down the number of fuel thefts within the division."

The initiative is supported by BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, an independent organisation helping to fight forecourt crime and seeking improvements in health and safety at Britain’s petrol service stations.

John Turtle, BOSS Co-ordinator for the North West, said: "The City and Holbeck Forecourt crime initiative demonstrates again that effective partnership working between the police, retailers and the oil industry can bring about significant reductions in forecourt crime."

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