New figures show rise in theft of heating oil in Cambridgeshire


- Credit: Archant

Homeowners in Cambridgeshire are being urged to ensure that their fuel is safe, after statistics showed that the theft of heating oil is on the rise in the county.

According to data obtained by gas supplier Calor, 148 domestic fuel related thefts occurred in the county in 2014 - compared with the reported 66 thefts the previous year – a rise of 124 per cent.

The data also showed that Cambridgeshire has the largest number of recorded domestic fuel thefts in the country.

Alastair Lovell, of Calor, said: “These figures demonstrate the seriousness and growth of heating oil theft for those living in Cambridgeshire. It is sometimes assumed that oil thieves only target commercial buildings, but in fact residential properties are equally at risk.

“Heating oil is easy to target as tanks are quite large, and thieves need only to trespass onto the property, pierce the tank and then siphon off the oil.

“This causes great expense through repair or replacement of the tank and oil, and there may also be environmental damage from spillages to clean up. Meanwhile, homeowners are left in a house with no heat or hot water.”

In order to prevent heating oil theft, Cambridgeshire police advise homeowners to install alarms and padlocks on their tanks, fit a flood light, ensure the tank is not visible from the road, and plant hedge or shrubs around the tank to deter thieves.