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Petrol pinchers: Surge in gas theft may result in increased pump costs

Petrol pinchers: Surge in gas theft may result in increased pump costs

The variety of criminals stealing gas from petrol stations between July and September rose by 77% this yr, analysis reveals.

Within the third quarter of 2023, the DVLA obtained 39,563 requests for automobile keeper information in relation to gas theft – an enormous rise from 22,335 on the identical time in 2022.

The information comes as a part of a freedom of knowledge (FOI) request made by the RAC Basis, which discovered 362% extra incidents occurred this yr than earlier than the pandemic, in 2019.

Normally of petrol or diesel theft, drivers would refill their tanks and go away with out paying – generally known as ‘bilking’.

This criminality hits every storage within the UK by a median of £10,500 per yr in keeping with the British Oil Safety Syndicate – an organization which campaigns to maintain petrol stations crime free zones.

Motorists discovered responsible of deliberately driving away with out paying for his or her petrol may face a most of two years in jail and/ or a vast tremendous.

In the meantime, there may be concern within the motor business that the cost-of-living disaster will delay the difficulty of ‘bilking’ within the UK, which may even result in a hike in costs on the pump.

Petrol theft is a ‘massive and rising downside’

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Basis, stated: “Amongst all of the current media consideration given to the epidemic of shoplifting, it ought to in all probability come as no shock to search out that the theft of petrol and diesel from forecourts appears to be like to be a giant and rising downside, and these figures may solely trace at a a lot greater situation.

“Whereas it might be that the cost-of-living disaster is tempting some folks to threat driving off with out paying, the true headache for gas suppliers is that if this can be a signal of extra systematic prison exercise.

“The message to anybody tempted to bilk the service station should be ‘don’t refill in case you can’t pay up’ as a result of getting caught is an actual risk, and monetary losses to corporations finally result in increased costs for us all.”

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