Norfolk Constabulary: Heating oil summer security warning

25 June 2013

Police in Reepham are urging residents to keep a close-eye on
heating oil tanks this summer.

Residents are being encouraged to regularly check oil levels
over the next few months as officers from the local safer
neighbourhood team continue to raise awareness of the issue.

It comes after the matter was raised a at the team s recent
priority setting meeting where it was agreed to continue work to
improve awareness and offer crime prevention advice.

PC Abigail Horton-Smith, local beat manager, said: It s not
unusual for residents to discover large amounts of oil stolen when
they start to use the tank in the winter.

We would recommend residents check tanks on a weekly basis,
making a note of the level and reporting any sudden drops, which
could indicate a theft, to police. By getting into a habit of
checking the tank now, it could help prevent thefts in the
winter.

Additional crime prevention advice offered by Norfolk
Constabulary includes:

Consider an electronic oil level gauge which sets off an audible
alarm in your house if the oil level drops below a quarter
full.

Fit a good quality locking device to all fuel tanks a high
quality closed shackle padlock will make access using bolt croppers
very difficult. Buying products that carry the Sold Secure logo
which are tested to withstand attack is advisable.

Consider perimeter security for the whole tank, such as a metal
cage or fencing.

Even a prickly hedge may help deter thieves. Remember, however, that the oil tanker driver will need to access
it.

Control switches should be located in a secure building and
turned off when the tank is not in use.

If you re installing an oil tank or considering repositioning
it, they should ideally be situated within sight of nearby occupied
buildings. It may not be so aesthetically desirable, but the more
remote the better the opportunity to access the tank without being
seen.

Consider appropriate lighting around the tank so you can see and
anyone can be seen.

Be considerate to your neighbours and don t use
high powered lights which affect their property.

Lighting is not
the answer to all problems and site specific advice should be taken
where lighting is being considered.

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