GARDAÍ ASK FUEL RETAILERS COUNTYWIDE TO ADOPT A ‘PAY BEFORE YOU PUMP’ POLICY

11 September 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Veronica Corr

Fuel theft is a crime that can be prevented by asking for pre-payment — This was the message Gardaí wanted to get across at their Fuel Retailers Seminar, which took place on Tuesday last at the Four Seasons Hotel.

The seminar was hosted by Inspector James O’Leary, Sgt. Noel Harraghy and Garda Seamus Gallagher.

Gardaí felt that it was time to address the issue and have a frank open discussion with affected retailers as fuel theft is a growing problem, not only here but also throughout Ireland.

The Inspector actively encouraged service station owners to ask their customers to pay before they pumped. This was a low cost, perhaps even no-cost measure, which could literally save their businesses and protect jobs, he said.

Most pumps need to be pre-authorised anyway, so it was only a matter of informing staff in some cases, the Inspector stated. He added that in cases where pre-pay was not feasible, manned pumps or manned forecourts served as an effective deterrent.

Inspector O’Leary said that the rise in drive offs from forecourts was a drain on Garda resources, as it had to be established whether someone genuinely forgot to pay for their fuel or whether it was intentional.

The Inspector warned the retailers present that if their station hadn’t yet been hit, then it might only be a matter of time. It was also stated that if criminals get away with drive offs they would do it again, and tell their friends.

However, by changing their own and their customers’ mindset, this crime could be completely eradicated, Inspector O’Leary explained.

It is also understood that these crimes are associated with others, as travelling criminals may not be keen on paying for the fuel that they need to get to where they want to go!

Incidentally, motorists are advised to report missing number plates to An Garda Siochana immediately because they may be used to commit crimes such as fuel theft.

Sgt. Noel Harraghy delivered a very impressive and informative slideshow presentation on the subject.

A total of 103 drive offs were reported throughout Cavan/Monaghan between …

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