Campaign to beat heating oil theft across Leicestershire
Police have launched a campaign to help people protect their domestic heating oil from thieves.
A growing number of homes, chiefly in rural areas, are being targeted for the fuel, which is stored in tanks outside homes.
Between April last year and the end of February, police received 81 reports of thefts, compared to 45 in the same period in the previous year.
Now, police have reached an agreement with 26 oil delivery firms which will see crime prevention leaflets passed to customers. Crime reduction officer, Mick Kaiser said: "I was really pleased with the positive response we had to our idea.
"The 26 companies have agreed to deliver an awareness leaflet with the oil, which we hope will highlight the easy steps that can be taken to avoid having fuel stolen.
"I would encourage members of the public who have domestic heating oil deliveries to take on board the advice.''
Police advice includes:
Check the oil level on your tank on a regular basis.
Fit an electronic oil gauge or tank alarm which will alert you if the oil level drops.
Hide tanks from view with fences or bushes, consider installing CCTV cameras or security lights and fit a lock to the tank.
If your tank is in an outbuilding, keep the building locked.
Make a note of the registration number of suspicious vehicles and keep an eye on your neighbours' tanks.
Join or form a Neighbourhood Watch group.