Theft of heating oil - advice to residents

Location of tank
The position can have a significant effect on its vulnerability.  If it is close to the house and overlooked then the thief may consider the chances of being seen too high.  If close to the road or other access points then it will be as easier target.  Many tanks are hidden behind the garage or other structure but this could be an advantage to the thief.  Therefore the following security measures should be considered:

Padlocks:  closed shackle padlocks offer the most resistance to bolt croppers
Oil level gauges:  consider using oil level gauges alarms; these remote control alarms activate if the tank level suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. 

Proximity alarms:  battery operated motion sensor alarms can alert designated mobile phones that monitor activity detected around the tank.

Security lighting:  if your tank is visible from your home, this can deter thieves.  Low level ‘dusk to dawn ‘or motion detection lighting can be an effective crime deterrent.

CCTV: This can be set up to watch over an isolated tank and may act as a deterrent to thieves – you need to consider lighting to support the camera – a product such as a security light with a wireless alarm can be purchased online for under £100 and would allow motion across the detection zone with 220 degree detection zone up to 20m range with day and night time motion or heat detection and a wireless audio alarm.

Defensive planting:  the planting of thorny bushes to prevent entry to the tank and the addition of walls, fences or trellis all help to hide the shape or site of a green heating oil tank

Remember to check the oil level in your tank regularly, look for any spilt fuel, marks on locks or anything suspicious.

Please report suspicious activity to the police by dialling 101

Dial 999 when lives are at risk of violence or serious injury, serious crime is happening or a criminal is at a scene or nearby

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Carol Aston, Crime Prevention Officer, Northern Sector Peterborough Cambridgeshire Police
Tel: 01733 424417,
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