property investment

More than one million homes in the UK rely on oil heating stored in a nearby tank i.e., off the national grid.  But this scenario means some rural homes can become a target for fuel thieves.

Over 25,000 oil thefts were reported in 2018 and the problem still exists. Back in November, 30,000 litres of oil were stolen from a single farm in Gwent, Wales.

North Yorkshire Police also urged people in rural areas to take extra care after £250 worth of heating oil was taken from a property in Thornton-Le-Moor.

Today, we take a closer look at the latest available statistics and show what can be done to stop oil theft, including switching energy supply.

Thefts by region

Based on statistics between 2016 and 2018, Dyfed-Pows, Gwent, and the West Midlands have experienced the highest increase of thefts across the three-year period.

  • Dyfed-Pows (98%)
  • Gwent (80%)
  • West Midlands (48%)

Dyfed-Pows is a mostly rural area with a coastline and has a population of around 500,000. Gwent, as previously mentioned above, is another area in Wales that has rural areas, whilst the West Midlands is also home to stretches of countryside and rural homes.

From 23 areas included in the study, only Port of Dover experienced no oil thefts. Avon and Somerset recorded the biggest decrease, with a 45% decrease in thefts reported between 2016 and 2018.

FUEL THEFTS REPORTED TO POLICE FORCES IN THE LAST THREE YEARS

Region

2018

2017

2016

Change YoY

2016 v 2018

Greater London

13799

15743

14739

-12%

-6%

West Yorkshire

4123

4839

4624

-15%

-11%

South Yorkshire

2779

3313

2529

-16%

10%

West Midlands

2215

2198

1501

1%

48%

Hertfordshire

2132

2478

1965

-14%

9%

Lancashire

2121

1933

1467

10%

45%

Cambridgeshire

1890

2178

1456

-13%

30%

Staffordshire

1817

1662

1439

9%

26%

Essex

1453

1888

1755

-23%

-17%

Merseyside

1208

1502

1533

-20%

-21%

Devon and Cornwall

1010

1000

918

1%

10%

Northumbria

836

926

1153

-10%

-27%

Norfolk

813

754

581

8%

40%

Suffolk

693

643

488

8%

42%

Bedfordshire

571

1284

994

-56%

-43%

Cleveland

559

625

598

-11%

-7%

Avon and Somerset

553

686

1001

-19%

-45%

Dyfed-Powys

542

454

274

19%

98%

Durham

133

103

139

29%

-4%

Gwent

90

71

50

27%

80%

Derbyshire

57

68

61

-16%

-7%

North Wales

19

24

20

-21%

-5%

Port of Dover

0

0

0

0%

0%

 

Source: thisismoney.co.uk

How to limit the risk

If you live rurally and you’re still relying on an oil tank to bring heat and fuel to your home, there are ways you can prevent theft on your property – as well as alternatives.

Install CCTV – CCTV is an effective measure to deter thieves from targeting your property. It can also alert you to the crime instead of noticing the problem when it’s too late.

Install security lighting – Many thieves strike at night, so a well-lit property is another way to put them off. Security lighting tends to be bright enough that you can notice what’s outside from the comfort of your home.  

Lock your tank up – Thieves will bring tools to gain access to your tank. It’s a good idea to keep your oil tank secured with a good quality padlock. You can also discourage them by putting gravel around the area to make it harder for them to access it.

Switch from oil to gas – You can heat your home with other fuel alternatives, such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (easily done with an oil to gas conversion). Unlike oil, LPG is almost impossible to steal and can be stored underground and out of sight of thieves, giving you peace of mind without having to install extra safety measures.

LPG is also cleaner than oil, with a 20% lower carbon intensity, meaning it’s better for the environment.

The harsh reality of winter

The UK winter lasts from the end of December until the end of March, meaning the country is currently in the thick of the coldest season. Recent spells of snow and ice have magnified the need to stay warm indoors, with those living rurally reliant on their heating supply.

Avon and Somerset Police recently posted a short statement on its website to warn its residents to be extra vigilant as higher demand – and the pandemic – will cause delays to heating oil deliveries, making households more susceptible to theft.

Although eradicating oil theft isn’t an easy task, there are still measures than can be taken to prevent it from happening.

Sources

https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/heating-oil/article/heating-oil-explained/what-is-heating-oil-axKFs4A8aH5V

https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/18892360.police-30-000-litres-fuel-stolen-monmouthshire-farm/

https://northyorkshire.police.uk/news/heating-oil-security-warning-as-thieves-drain-250-of-oil-from-tank/

https://www.flogas.co.uk/home/oil-to-lpg

https://magazine.dailybusinessgroup.co.uk/2020/03/18/why-its-time-to-switch-from-oil-to-lpg/

https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/your-area/somerton-and-langport/priorities/oil-tank-theft/

Recent Articles....

Change Pricing Plan

We recommend you check the details of Pricing Plans before changing. Click Here



£2030 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£4030 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£12030 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£25030 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£2500365 daysPay Per Listing1 regular & 1 featured listings



£600365 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£220365 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£110365 daysPay Per Listing0 regular & 0 featured listings



£1200365 daysPay Per ListingUnlimited regular & Unlimited featured listings



£440360 daysPay Per ListingUnlimited regular & Unlimited featured listings



£220365 daysPay Per ListingUnlimited regular & Unlimited featured listings



£Unlimited daysPay Per Listing1 regular & 0 featured listings