Fall in theft of heating oil

OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association, has welcomed the news that the theft of domestic heating oil from rural homes is on the decline. Heating oil used to be in the top five of most commonly stolen items from rural properties in the UK. burglar stolen steal In a 2016 report from NFU Mutual Rural Crime, it showed that there was a decrease in the overall cost of thefts from rural homes from £7.1 million in 2014 to £6.2 million in 2015. Still a staggeringly high number but it does mean that fuel theft (including diesel) is no longer in the top five.

The 2015 top five most commonly stolen items in rural areas were:

1.    Quad Bikes / All-Terrain Vehicles

2.    Machinery

3.    Farm & Commercial Tools

4.    Garden Equipment

5.    Livestock

OFTEC CEO Paul Rose, commented: “It’s encouraging to see that heating oil is no longer a key target for criminals in rural areas. This trend has quite likely been influenced by the sustained fall in heating oil prices we have seen over recent times, meaning oil is not the expensive commodity it once was.” “The report findings also suggest that homeowners may have become wise to the threat posed by thieves and adopted the simple security measures that make heating oil a less attractive target. These include locks, screening, security lighting and fuel level alarms.” There has been a small increase in cost since the beginning of 2016, but happily, home heating oil still remains around 50% cheaper than the peak in prices during spring 2013. Figures from the Sutherland Tables, show heating oil is still the cheapest of all the major home heating fuels. Paul Rose continues: “Consumers are continuing to benefit from the sustained low price of oil and there’s good evidence to suggest this will remain the case for the rest of 2016 – and quite possibly beyond. “However, we still recommend that oil households, indeed all rural communities, remain vigilant against crime and take the necessary precautions to protect their assets. If you need advice, contact a local OFTEC registered technician”. To access tips and advice on protecting your domestic fuel from thieves click here.