The PSNI has launched a joint initiative with more than 40 oil companies in the North West to tackle the number of oil thefts in the area.
The ‘Safe & Secure Together’ campaign will see leaflets detailing how best to look after your oil tank distributed by oil companies to homes as part of their delivery service.
PSNI Crime Prevention Officer Rumena McCabe said the campaign is particularly timely because “ we are coming into the colder months and more people will be placing oil orders.
“We are delighted that industry businesses are supporting our efforts to prevent oil thefts in local communities.
“This type of crime hits the most vulnerable in our community the hardest; the elderly people who need heat and warmth to stay well and families who often struggle to meet rising fuel costs.
“We are asking anyone who notices any type of suspicious activity in their local area to contact us. On many occasions, vehicles will be used to transport oil and if you notice a vehicle which looks out of place or not quite right, please contact us immediately.
“We would rather investigate something which may appear to be insignificant than miss the opportunity to catch a criminal in the act,” she said.
David Blevings of the Northern Ireland Oil Federation said: “We are pleased to support the PSNI and their campaign as during the winter, fuel tanks can be seen as easy targets for thieves.
Usually it’s only when people run out of oil and their heating stops working that theft becomes apparent. However, by taking a few simple precautions such as making a regular note of your oil levels will help to ensure that you are not the victim of oil theft,” he said.