ALMOST all petrol stations across a police force area have signed up to a campaign with the aim of keeping out fuel thieves.
Forecourt Watch, a police initiative aimed at tackling fuel theft, has been launched county-wide after it was first established in East Durham.
The majority of service stations and fuel retailers across County Durham have signed up for the scheme.
If a vehicle leaves without paying for fuel, details of the vehicle and offence will be circulated immediately to all who have signed up.
The garages will then be on the lookout for similar vehicles arriving at their forecourt.
Once a suspicious vehicle is spotted the police can be informed and action will be taken.
The officer leading the development of the scheme, Acting Detective Sergeant Chris Milburn said: “Forecourt Watch is a great way of tackling the issue of the theft of fuel from forecourts.
“By working closely with the garage owners and staff we are significantly increasing our resources in terms of getting the information we need to stop those responsible for these types of crimes, protecting the staff and genuine customers of these premises.
“Once the garages are alerted they are in an ideal position to play a key part in helping to tackle this issue.”