Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership are taking action to reduce the risk of local people falling victim to home heating oil thieves.
Triax Neighbourhood Management Team, Community Restorative Justice and local Sinn Fein Councillor, Colly Kelly, contacted PCSP after a recent spate of oil thefts in the Creggan area reached double figures.
“I was contacted by a number of residents who had home heating oil stolen from their homes in the Rinmore Drive, Creggan Heights and Oakfield Park areas of Creggan.
“It’s absolutely despicable that people would do something like this but it’s made even worse when it happens in the mouth of Christmas,” said Colr. Kelly.
“There’s a high level of older people who live in these areas of Creggan and it precisely because of all these factors that we are teaming up with PCSP to put a stop to these thefts.”
If you or someone you know is concerned about becoming a victim to oil thieves you can now contact the PCSP and they will arrange for someone to visit your home and install a security lock to your oil tank. The lock and its installation are completely free of charge.
“Anyone interested in receiving one of these locks should either contact PCSP or a local councillor and we will arrange for someone to call out and assess exactly what is needed,” said PCSP Manager, Dermot Harrigan.
The lock works when it is secured to the top of an oil tank using a pad lock.
The installation of the lock can be carried out free of charge byCRY or TNMT.
“This is a very important initiaitve,” said Sean Collins from CRJ.
“Taking pro-active steps is obviously one way of reducing the possibility of falling victim to these thieves but it’s also very important that residents let us know if they have been targetted.
“Raising awareness and letting people know what is happening in particular areas is very important,” he added.
Representatives from the TNMT delivered leaflets to the areas affected by the recent spate of oil thefts on Wednesday evening.
“There are a lot of vulnerable older people living in this part of Creggan and it is up to us as a community to do all that we can to ensure they do not become victims,” said Colm Barton from TNMT.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees for many families in Derry so when they have their home heating oil stolen it can cause a lot of distress.
“I think the locks on offer from PCSP are a brilliant way of reducing the chance of having your home heating oil stolen. If anyone needs help having them installed the TNMT will be more than happy to help out.” he said.