Calls for more to be done to tackle rising number of fuel thefts across Bradford

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Crime Reporter

GARAGE bosses have called for police to crack down on drivers using fake number plates after a 15 per cent increase in fuel thefts in the Bradford district.

And oil industry bosses are urging police chiefs to reintroduce a garage forecourt watch scheme to tackle the problem.

Figures released by police in Bradford show there were 195 offences of making off without paying for petrol in the three months from April to June this year - more than three a day, and a 15 per cent increase from the 169 offences committed in the same period in 2013.

The biggest increase was in the Bradford South ward, where offences almost doubled, from 48 to 87. There were also big rises in Shipley and Bradford West.

But offences in Bradford East plunged from 62 to 40 and there were falls in Bradford City and Keighley.

Police said a great deal of work was being put into combating fuel thefts from petrol stations.

A spokesman for the Shell garage in Rooley Lane said it could be targeted by fuel thieves on a daily basis.

He said: "I am glad that the police are working on the problem but I would like to see them do more.

"There are a lot of people driving with fake number plates who steal petrol. If police took those cars off the road it would help us a lot.

"These offences cost us money. It's not just our garage. People are getting away from all petrol stations.

"We make sure our staff are vigilant and we have CCTV and number plate recognition. We can't do more to protect ourselves."

The British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS), which campaigns to reduce crime on Britain's service station forecourts, has worked with West Yorkshire Police to set up Forecourt Watch schemes in Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield, but there is not one in Bradford.

John Turtle, regional co-ordinator for BOSS in West Yorkshire, said: "We’re disappointed that fuel theft appears to be on the rise in Bradford. We used to operate a Forecourt Watch scheme in partnership with the police in Bradford and I’d be keen to work with them again.

“ Across the UK, forecourt crime costs retailers more than £30 million every year.

“We’ve developed initiatives that bring police and retailers together to deal with drive-offs and people claiming to have no means of payment. In partnership with West Yorkshire Police, BOSS has helped to establish successful Forecourt Watch schemes, which deal with drive-offs. Where they operate we’ve seen incidents of crime on some forecourts fall by as much as 50 per cent."

Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Blackwell, Crime Manager for Bradford District, said: “By working with retailers in certain locations, we have reduced offending levels at garages which were previously hardest hit.

"We recognise there is a long way to go, and we regularly liaise with BOSS to better understand this problem and improve forecourt protection.

“Officers have been helping garages to improve security and detection methods through CCTV, and each Neighbourhood Area Team allocates officers for forecourts where there have been repeated thefts.

“We are working to make sure that our call handlers take all the necessary details first time. This means we can investigate as quickly as possible.

“Police are also actively working to increase the number of garages who work with us and the reporting of offences, which might help to explain the rise in recorded incidents this year."

Earlier this month, crime minister Norman Baker questioned whether police should respond to reports of motorists driving off without paying for fuel, if forecourt retailers were not willing to stop the practice by demanding pre-payment at the pump.

In response, Brian Madderson, the chairman of the Petrol Retailers' Association, said compulsory pre-payment at pumps would cause a "grievous loss of trade".

Comments (29)

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9:27am Sat 16 Aug 14

OLDLAD says...

Go back to tthe days of pump attendants. You pull up hand money or card to attendant he puts the fuel in and away you go. No chance of runners using this system plus you give people jobs.
Go back to tthe days of pump attendants. You pull up hand money or card to attendant he puts the fuel in and away you go. No chance of runners using this system plus you give people jobs. OLDLAD
  • Score: 25

9:44am Sat 16 Aug 14

Cooperlane2 says...

How are police supposed to know the numberplates are fake if they don't flag up on ANPR? That's the whole point of fake plates.
Maybe pre-authorise and pay-at-pump is the way to go for these higher risk forecourts?
How are police supposed to know the numberplates are fake if they don't flag up on ANPR? That's the whole point of fake plates. Maybe pre-authorise and pay-at-pump is the way to go for these higher risk forecourts? Cooperlane2
  • Score: 22

9:48am Sat 16 Aug 14

llos25 says...

There are lots of ways to solve this problem but mega rich fuel companies want the easy way out and blame everybody else.
There are lots of ways to solve this problem but mega rich fuel companies want the easy way out and blame everybody else. llos25
  • Score: 13

10:14am Sat 16 Aug 14

Mik_e says...

Pay first-simple!
Pay first-simple! Mik_e
  • Score: 31

10:22am Sat 16 Aug 14

What?,when?,where? says...

They make so much money that they are not bothered about a few scratters knicking a few gallons of petrol, if they were bothered it would have been sorted out a long time ago. eg: pay before/ barriers/attendants/
etc.
They just leave it to the police , as if they did not have enough crime to deal with.
Jog on.
They make so much money that they are not bothered about a few scratters knicking a few gallons of petrol, if they were bothered it would have been sorted out a long time ago. eg: pay before/ barriers/attendants/ etc. They just leave it to the police , as if they did not have enough crime to deal with. Jog on. What?,when?,where?
  • Score: 13

10:27am Sat 16 Aug 14

Bikerbeardy says...

Mik_e wrote:
Pay first-simple!
Exactly, just come back from Turkey, most pumps are pre pay, you put your money or card in machine with your reg plate details, this then primes the pump with the amount paid for, so simple, end of all drive offs, just so, so, so simple.
[quote][p][bold]Mik_e[/bold] wrote: Pay first-simple![/p][/quote]Exactly, just come back from Turkey, most pumps are pre pay, you put your money or card in machine with your reg plate details, this then primes the pump with the amount paid for, so simple, end of all drive offs, just so, so, so simple. Bikerbeardy
  • Score: 30

11:44am Sat 16 Aug 14

RomeoTango says...

Prepay....works in the US where every garage does it. No grievous loss of trade if they all do it....what the garage owners are really saying is 'we don't want to pay for the changes to the pumps and we'd prefer you to pay inside so we can sell you over priced other goods...'
Prepay....works in the US where every garage does it. No grievous loss of trade if they all do it....what the garage owners are really saying is 'we don't want to pay for the changes to the pumps and we'd prefer you to pay inside so we can sell you over priced other goods...' RomeoTango
  • Score: 29

11:46am Sat 16 Aug 14

Albion. says...

OLDLAD wrote:
Go back to tthe days of pump attendants. You pull up hand money or card to attendant he puts the fuel in and away you go. No chance of runners using this system plus you give people jobs.
That would cost more than the loss through theft.
[quote][p][bold]OLDLAD[/bold] wrote: Go back to tthe days of pump attendants. You pull up hand money or card to attendant he puts the fuel in and away you go. No chance of runners using this system plus you give people jobs.[/p][/quote]That would cost more than the loss through theft. Albion.
  • Score: 4

11:52am Sat 16 Aug 14

Postman pedro says...

It's not rocket science. Pay before you can draw fuel answer solved. Will stop low life people stealing.
End of.
It's not rocket science. Pay before you can draw fuel answer solved. Will stop low life people stealing. End of. Postman pedro
  • Score: 18

12:59pm Sat 16 Aug 14

bradford88 says...

The petrol thieves should be punished but with the crazy fuel prices these days more and more people are going to do petrol leggers, lower the bloody fuel prices maybe that will make a diffrence. The real criminals are the goverment they pull peoples pants down on everything.
The petrol thieves should be punished but with the crazy fuel prices these days more and more people are going to do petrol leggers, lower the bloody fuel prices maybe that will make a diffrence. The real criminals are the goverment they pull peoples pants down on everything. bradford88
  • Score: 12

2:02pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Avro says...

Postman pedro wrote:
It's not rocket science. Pay before you can draw fuel answer solved. Will stop low life people stealing.
End of.
Seems the most obvioius way to go, though for those wanting a fill it will be impossible to gauge the cost before drawing the fuel.
[quote][p][bold]Postman pedro[/bold] wrote: It's not rocket science. Pay before you can draw fuel answer solved. Will stop low life people stealing. End of.[/p][/quote]Seems the most obvioius way to go, though for those wanting a fill it will be impossible to gauge the cost before drawing the fuel. Avro
  • Score: 5

2:34pm Sat 16 Aug 14

999 number of the beast says...

Pre-pay maybe the solution but the garages point out a worrying trend. That is the criminal fraternity now no longer fear the police. It is the law abiding citizen who is at the mercy of politicians, police and the criminals.
Remember folks the current Chief Constable Mark Gimour is suspended and GMP Sir John Fahy has also been issued with gross misconduct. If the hierarchy are corrupt, the rank and file will be also.
Pre-pay maybe the solution but the garages point out a worrying trend. That is the criminal fraternity now no longer fear the police. It is the law abiding citizen who is at the mercy of politicians, police and the criminals. Remember folks the current Chief Constable Mark Gimour is suspended and GMP Sir John Fahy has also been issued with gross misconduct. If the hierarchy are corrupt, the rank and file will be also. 999 number of the beast
  • Score: 12

2:47pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Robin of Loxley says...

Maybe the oil barons should consider lowing the prices a bit ? - and therefore no need for such acts to take place?

20-25 years ago, petrol theft was literally unheard of.
Maybe the oil barons should consider lowing the prices a bit ? - and therefore no need for such acts to take place? 20-25 years ago, petrol theft was literally unheard of. Robin of Loxley
  • Score: 4

3:46pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Raj2121 says...

Its simple drop the duty and everyone can afford it, we have 75 percent more duty than america,
Its simple drop the duty and everyone can afford it, we have 75 percent more duty than america, Raj2121
  • Score: 9

4:04pm Sat 16 Aug 14

llos25 says...

Raj2121 wrote:
Its simple drop the duty and everyone can afford it, we have 75 percent more duty than america,
But we import just about all our petrol from dubious states the US doesn´t. You are lucky you have petrol at all in the UK the way you make enemies.
[quote][p][bold]Raj2121[/bold] wrote: Its simple drop the duty and everyone can afford it, we have 75 percent more duty than america,[/p][/quote]But we import just about all our petrol from dubious states the US doesn´t. You are lucky you have petrol at all in the UK the way you make enemies. llos25
  • Score: -25

6:17pm Sat 16 Aug 14

awasteoftime says...

Mik_e wrote:
Pay first-simple!
Spot on, do as the ASDA self service stations do, pay with your Credit card before the pump will issue fuel, no pay no fuel simple. Don't see why other filling stations cannot do the same.
[quote][p][bold]Mik_e[/bold] wrote: Pay first-simple![/p][/quote]Spot on, do as the ASDA self service stations do, pay with your Credit card before the pump will issue fuel, no pay no fuel simple. Don't see why other filling stations cannot do the same. awasteoftime
  • Score: 6

7:53pm Sat 16 Aug 14

claret or green ? says...

It's a no brainier as many have pointed out above. A bit rich of the garage bosses to call on the Police to do more, when basically they are giving away goods before people have paid for them. Pay first and then the theiving scumbags will have to work on some other scam. The decent public will understand and get used to it.
It's a no brainier as many have pointed out above. A bit rich of the garage bosses to call on the Police to do more, when basically they are giving away goods before people have paid for them. Pay first and then the theiving scumbags will have to work on some other scam. The decent public will understand and get used to it. claret or green ?
  • Score: 7

9:19pm Sat 16 Aug 14

freespeech says...

Simple.. Pre Pay.. however Brian Madderson, the chairman of the Petrol Retailers' Association, said compulsory pre-payment at pumps would cause a "grievous loss of trade". What rubbish!!! Loss of trade to who?
Simple.. Pre Pay.. however Brian Madderson, the chairman of the Petrol Retailers' Association, said compulsory pre-payment at pumps would cause a "grievous loss of trade". What rubbish!!! Loss of trade to who? freespeech
  • Score: 5

9:21pm Sat 16 Aug 14

freespeech says...

Why is this a police problem exactly? I want to see police patrolling my area, not stood at petrol pumps.
Why is this a police problem exactly? I want to see police patrolling my area, not stood at petrol pumps. freespeech
  • Score: 10

11:32pm Sat 16 Aug 14

stevion12 says...

pre pay for your fuel before hand, card machines at pumps , like asda, tesco and morrisons have. if no card pay cash before forcourt let you have the fuel,
pre pay for your fuel before hand, card machines at pumps , like asda, tesco and morrisons have. if no card pay cash before forcourt let you have the fuel, stevion12
  • Score: 3

2:57am Sun 17 Aug 14

bd7 helper says...

Police are here for the community not for petrol stations get your own security guards
Police are here for the community not for petrol stations get your own security guards bd7 helper
  • Score: 13

9:33am Sun 17 Aug 14

basil fawlty says...

It would help if they invested in cctv that had clearer pictures
It would help if they invested in cctv that had clearer pictures basil fawlty
  • Score: 4

9:53am Sun 17 Aug 14

klevispin says...

All pumps could be pre pay, but the garages don't want people to pay at the pump, as they don't make a significant profit on fuel. They want you to go into the store as they make their money by selling overpriced drinks, snacks and screenwash etc. They want people to have to go in and spend.

And then there's the difficulties caused for those who operate in the cash economy, who don't pay by card. Those people would perhaps be put off, but surely it would be easy enough to have a system where you go in and pay and then the pump gets activated and only supplies the amount you paid for.
All pumps could be pre pay, but the garages don't want people to pay at the pump, as they don't make a significant profit on fuel. They want you to go into the store as they make their money by selling overpriced drinks, snacks and screenwash etc. They want people to have to go in and spend. And then there's the difficulties caused for those who operate in the cash economy, who don't pay by card. Those people would perhaps be put off, but surely it would be easy enough to have a system where you go in and pay and then the pump gets activated and only supplies the amount you paid for. klevispin
  • Score: 7

9:59am Sun 17 Aug 14

999 number of the beast says...

bd7 helper wrote:
Police are here for the community not for petrol stations get your own security guards
That is most funniest comment I have read. The police are here to protect themselves and the establishment. If you don't believe me have a verbal go at a female PCSO and see how many fools turn up! If the police are not threatened they don't care!
[quote][p][bold]bd7 helper[/bold] wrote: Police are here for the community not for petrol stations get your own security guards[/p][/quote]That is most funniest comment I have read. The police are here to protect themselves and the establishment. If you don't believe me have a verbal go at a female PCSO and see how many fools turn up! If the police are not threatened they don't care! 999 number of the beast
  • Score: -4

11:21am Sun 17 Aug 14

Avro says...

awasteoftime wrote:
Mik_e wrote:
Pay first-simple!
Spot on, do as the ASDA self service stations do, pay with your Credit card before the pump will issue fuel, no pay no fuel simple. Don't see why other filling stations cannot do the same.
And what about cash buyers?
[quote][p][bold]awasteoftime[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mik_e[/bold] wrote: Pay first-simple![/p][/quote]Spot on, do as the ASDA self service stations do, pay with your Credit card before the pump will issue fuel, no pay no fuel simple. Don't see why other filling stations cannot do the same.[/p][/quote]And what about cash buyers? Avro
  • Score: 1

3:33pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Al Spade says...

Cash buyers would pay at the till and the cashier would prime the pump to deliver the amount paid for.
Cash buyers would pay at the till and the cashier would prime the pump to deliver the amount paid for. Al Spade
  • Score: 2

5:43pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Joedavid says...

awasteoftime wrote:
Mik_e wrote:
Pay first-simple!
Spot on, do as the ASDA self service stations do, pay with your Credit card before the pump will issue fuel, no pay no fuel simple. Don't see why other filling stations cannot do the same.
So people who do not have credit cards can't buy?
[quote][p][bold]awasteoftime[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mik_e[/bold] wrote: Pay first-simple![/p][/quote]Spot on, do as the ASDA self service stations do, pay with your Credit card before the pump will issue fuel, no pay no fuel simple. Don't see why other filling stations cannot do the same.[/p][/quote]So people who do not have credit cards can't buy? Joedavid
  • Score: -1

12:12am Mon 18 Aug 14

Papa Smurfs Wig says...

Prepay and if you want £15 worth and only have a £20 note then type in what you want and you get a fiver change. And a change catcher like at tolls.
If you want a Mars bar ten walk into the shop. Kerching!
Prepay and if you want £15 worth and only have a £20 note then type in what you want and you get a fiver change. And a change catcher like at tolls. If you want a Mars bar ten walk into the shop. Kerching! Papa Smurfs Wig
  • Score: 2

8:02am Mon 18 Aug 14

johnh1 says...

llos25 wrote:
Raj2121 wrote:
Its simple drop the duty and everyone can afford it, we have 75 percent more duty than america,
But we import just about all our petrol from dubious states the US doesn´t. You are lucky you have petrol at all in the UK the way you make enemies.
Raj.Your a racist you do make enemies when you try to do the right thing.
Yes that means the right thing for Britain as well. Most countries would still be trying to invent the wheel if we had left things alone.
We gave them a damed good thrashing and civilised them.
[quote][p][bold]llos25[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Raj2121[/bold] wrote: Its simple drop the duty and everyone can afford it, we have 75 percent more duty than america,[/p][/quote]But we import just about all our petrol from dubious states the US doesn´t. You are lucky you have petrol at all in the UK the way you make enemies.[/p][/quote]Raj.Your a racist you do make enemies when you try to do the right thing. Yes that means the right thing for Britain as well. Most countries would still be trying to invent the wheel if we had left things alone. We gave them a damed good thrashing and civilised them. johnh1
  • Score: 3

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