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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
17th July 2019 Issue no. 466

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Winter warning to protect heating oil supplies

An opportunity for savvy locksmiths and security consultants perhaps? At a time of year when supplies of heating oil are being replenished the police are urging homeowners to take steps to deter thieves.

The theft of heating oil not only hits families in the pocket but can also mean they are left without any heat and hot water. Between September 2012 and January 2013 there were 123 reported thefts of heating oil across Kent alone, worth a total of around £90,000, with rural and remote areas often the target.

Detective Chief Superintendent Jon Sutton, of Partnerships and Communities, said: 'The theft of heating oil can cause considerable distress to the victims and to replace stolen fuel in domestic tanks can cost as much as £2,000 to £3,000. For some victims, this means they are left struggling to heat their homes over winter months.'

Letters have recently been sent to anyone who has been a victim of heating oil theft over the past 12 months with advice and guidance. Fuel distributors are also being contacted so that when they deliver oil to homes they can also leave leaflets which contain prevention advice.

Jon Sutton added: 'Our officers work very hard to tackle rural crime. In the past year we have held special cross-border operations each month and distributed a rural crime DVD to all members of Country Eye in Kent, which has also been posted on the Kent Police website and YouTube.'

Churches, schools and community buildings which use heating oil can also be a target for thieves, but by taking steps, such as installing alarms and planting foliage around external tanks, the risk of becoming a victim can be reduced.

Advice

- Keep your yard or drive gates closed and securely locked and ensure gates and fences are in good repair.
- Where possible install CCTV, a good quality alarm and security lighting.
- Try and keep storage tanks out of view from the general public, but within sight of your home or business.
- Regularly check fuel levels so that you can easily spot if the level drops. Remote electronic oil level gauges can be fitted, which set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops.
- Check your oil is covered by your household or business insurance.
- Record the details of any suspicious vehicles and notify police on 101. 

9th October 2013




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