Fuel Thefts On The Rise

Sat 9th Jul 2022

As petrol and diesel prices continue to rise, the organisation charged with protecting the interests of petrol stations in the UK has reported a significant rise in people driving off without paying for their fuel.

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has said that they are currently seeing approximately ten incidents of ‘drive-off raids’ a day, a 61 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Gordon Balmer, executive director of the PRA has said that if the rate of thefts continues the industry will lose £25million.

“It’s a really difficult issue at the moment — and on the increase, Balmer said.

"You're looking at nearly £41 million in terms of cost to industry of fuel either being stolen through drive-offs or people haven't got the means to pay.

With the pressure on the police over the last few years, many police forces have said 'It's not a criminal offence.

"'It's a civil offence, so you need you need to deal with it.

"'And if the actual value of the crime is below £100 then we won't send anyone out to police it'.

"This has been raised by myself personally with the Home Office."

Ascona Group which owns 59 filling stations across the UK says that to cover costs for wages and utility bills they need to make a profit margin of at least 9p per litre, but are only currently making 7p a litre. Darren Briggs, chief executive of the group said: “We’ve had a huge increase of staff abuse at forecourt level.

“We’re getting reports virtually every week of customers being quite abusive because of what they’re seeing at the pole sign.”

He added: “It is tough out there to explain to customers how the market operates.”