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Secure Your Oil Tanks – Norfolk Police issue warning as winter fuel thefts in East Anglia increase.

The cost of heating fuel has escalated over the last few years, which in turn has made it a prime target for thieves.  With Christmas just around the corner, victims are being left with no heating and struggling to pay to replace the stolen fuel.

Local villages in and around the Norwich area have been targeted, and their oil tanks have been siphoned leaving them with no fuel to heat their homes.

An insurance firm has reported that claims of fuel theft have doubled in the first six months of this year.  East Anglia is has many rural areas that depend upon oil fuel as their primary fuel supply for either business or household use.

The theft of heating oil however is not just a local problem, reports of thefts have proven to be a problem Nationally.

The cost of dealing with this particular theft has increased due to the amount of damage often caused by thieves to the oil tanks.  Owners are then responsible for the environmental issue caused by a leaking tank caused by thieves.  Clearing up soil and groundwater contamination from a leaking tank compounds the agony after having your fuel stolen.

Premises that close over the festive period are easy targets for tank theft, particularly those with no added security measures.  Many that have fallen victims to tank theft have installed CCTV and security lighting observing the tank.

These measures alone will not prevent a determined attacker and it is recommended that a secure cage be fitted around the tank with a good quality lock to secure the door.  Defensive planting will also create a natural barrier to protect the perimeter of your property.

Be extra vigilant and wary of cold callers who often prey on the fact that properties may be empty at this time of year.  They can then reconnoiter the rear of the property to locate if an oil tank is protected or situated in the open.

There are many other precautionary measures that can be taken in order to help deter and prevent this crime.  Norfolk Police Constabulary offer free advice on protecting your fuel tank and many Security Companies will provide security advice and equipment to enhance the security of your valuable asset.