On The Spot Fine For Motorist Using Red Diesel

PUBLISHED: 13:56 05 October 2010 | UPDATED: 14:32 08 October 2010

Police Red Diesel Operation in Sutton, Ely.

Police Red Diesel Operation in Sutton, Ely.

Archant

POLICE and officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) were out in force on the A142 this week targeting motorists using illegal fuel.

POLICE and officers from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) were out in force on the A142 this week targeting motorists using illegal fuel.

The operation was run by Cambridgeshire Police’s Rural Community Action Team (RCAT) on the A142 near Sutton on Monday, with more than 300 cars, lorries and trailers stopped and tested for the tell-tale red diesel and kerosene.

Officers based the fuel testing operation on the Elean Industrial Estate with teams of officers also stationed in lay-bys in neighbouring Mepal checking vehicle numberplates using the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) equipment.

The operation began at midday and officers uncovered their first fuel offender within minutes. The man was issued with an on-the-spot £500 fine by HMRC officers and was ordered to have his vehicle drained and flushed of the offending fuel.

If the man is found to be using the illegal fuels again, he will be subject to increased fines and possible forfeiture of the vehicle.

PC Simon Page, from RCAT, said: “There is a huge amount of fuel theft from farm machinery and also from rural properties and villages and we are seeing it right across the county.

“Thieves are taking two, three or four thousand litres at a time and in one raid on a farm we found that between 8-10 thousand litres had been stolen

“Targeted operations like this lets the public know that we are working to tackle the problem.”

<piccap> Officers testing cars for signs of illegal fuel use. Photo: HELEN DRAKE.

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