A police initiative clamping down on fuel thefts from garage forecourts has resulted in a 42 per cent decrease in the crime across the Cherwell district compared with last year.
Forecourt Watch was set up by the Thames Valley Police Cherwell Local Policing Area in April 2012 to combat the growing number of drive-off thefts from petrol stations.
The scheme has proved so successful the force has decided to extended it to the West Oxfordshire LPA.
Sgt Kevin Tobin of the Cherwell Officer Support Team explained: “Working with the police enables garages to reduce thefts from forecourts by an average of 25 a month.”
Petrol drive-offs for the first three quarters since April 2013 have been cut by 46 per cent, 24 per cent and 9 per cent respectively compared to 2011 – with one garage seeing a 75 per cent reduction in fuel theft.
In Cherwell 22 petrol stations have been taking part in the scheme and now all 16 garages in West Oxfordshire have joined the initiative.
Sgt Tobin said: “One area manager with garages in the Cherwell scheme has seen a substantial drop in losses and says those forecourts are now his best performing sites.”
Forecourt Watch provides early information on stolen number plates allowing garage staff to take action to prevent offences being committed.