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Garage scheme bids to stop bilking rise

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

PC Jim Bateman with some of the graffiti in Hilton

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A GARAGE forecourt scheme aimed at reducing the number of motorists driving off without paying for fuel is taking place in South Derbyshire.

Derbyshire Police launched the initiative to try to stop drivers bilking following a rise in the number of incidents across the area.

Now officers are visiting garages in a bid to try to get them to sign up to the Forecourt Watch scheme – those who join will receive signs and a special advice pack.

A spokesman for the force said: “The rising price of fuel has resulted in an increase in thefts but we are working hard to tackle the problem.”

Filling stations in Willington and Hatton and on stretches of the A38 have been among the main targets for petrol thefts.

A spokesman added: “We are advising staff and owners to be more cautious and to be wary of any unusual behaviour or suspicious number plates.

“We are urging any staff with concerns not to open the pump to let people fill up, and to ask drivers to provide ID before they do so.

“There are also roaming CCTV cameras being used at different sites across the area to try to catch people committing these crimes.”

This comes after a similar bid to try to reduce the level of bilking took place in 2011 and 2012 after crime levels saw shocking rises.

Officers held training sessions for staff at 10 petrol stations across the area, advising them on how to spot potential drive-off cases.

Sergeant Jim Bateman, who led the operation, said: “This operation was not only about targeting criminals.

“It was also aimed at helping businesses better protect themselves against thieves through additional training and by encouraging them to think about what lighting and CCTV cameras they have on site.”

Anyone who would like to report an incident should call 101.

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