Fueling a red diesel crackdown in Morpeth
Dated: 24 May 2012
Police in Northumberland are cracking down on diesel thieves in the Morpeth area.
Officers are targeting hotspot areas where there have been a number of reported incidents of diesel theft.
The Morpeth Neighbourhood Policing Team will also be working with HMRC to prosecute those illegally using red diesel or buying stolen diesel.
It comes after police and HMRC attended a building site in Morpeth and dip-tested several of the workers' vehicles for red diesel.
Two vehicles were found to contain red diesel and the owners were issued on-the-spot fines of £500. Had they not paid, their vehicles would have been seized.
Officers also have the powers to do spot checks of vehicles they suspect to be carrying red diesel which can result in the vehicle being seized or a large fine for the driver.
Storing fuel at your property can also be very dangerous warns Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Simpson. He urges people to be sensible and safe when it comes to handling fuel.
Inspector Dave Simpson said "We are seeing an increase in fuel thefts across Northumberland with the majority of offences happening overnight.
"I would urge people to report any suspicious activity straight away. Owners of construction and farm vehicles should ensure that they keep their vehicles secure and follow our crime prevention advice to deter criminals.
"Park vehicles in view of CCTV, near security lighting or where the tank cannot be easily accessed i.e against a wall or building.
"Fit locking fuel caps to vehicles and don't leave them full of fuel overnight.
"I would also like to remind people how dangerous it is to store fuel or drive around with canisters of fuel in your vehicle.
The slightest trigger can cause fuel to ignite which can have catastrophic consequences."
HMRC Senior Officer Julia Ryder comments – “We are committed to working in partnership with Northumbria Police to help tackle this issue. The misuse of rebated fuels such as red diesel and kerosene is a criminal offence and if caught you could face a fine, have your vehicle seized and even face prosecution. “
Anyone who would like any further advice or has any issues can contact police on 101 or email email@example.com