Fuel Thieves

fuel theftTimes are hard enough as it is without having to worry about thievery. But for many businesses with large vehicles, fuel theft is becoming a growing problem with vehicles being emptied of their fuel and, in some cases, even their fuel tanks. But Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Dales District Council have come up with a solution: diesel dyeing.

Adding dye to fuel isn’t new; many fuel types are dyed to ensure correct use in the right type of vehicle. Aviation fuel, for example, is dyed for tax reasons as well as for safety as a plane fuelled with the wrong type of gasoline could have disastrous results. Diesel is dyed different colours depending on the industry and engine type it will be used in. Adding dye to diesel isn’t new, but using it to trace fuel back to its source is.

Code-named “Operation Dynamo”, the initiative involves adding a bottle of dye to fuel stores and displaying warning signs on company vehicles using the dyed diesel. As part of the operation, Derbyshire police will be dipping fuel tanks to check for the dyed fuel, allowing them to trace back any illegally gained fuel to specific companies.

David Bradley, whose firm is based in the Matlock area, said: “Protecting our fuel is very important because it’s our biggest expense.

“We have a lot of security measures already in place, such as anti-siphon caps on the tanks, but having this dye is a great idea, too.

“It acts as a deterrent to thieves and anything that does that has got to be worth it.”

And it seems other companies agree; since its launch last year the operation has attracted many of the big names in haulage and quarrying, including Tarmac.

Fuel, being one of the largest expenses for a haulage firm, is a precious commodity; with Operation Dynamo proving successful in Derbyshire this could be a step forward for other hauliers across the country. Diesel dye kits contain enough dye to colour 40,000 litres of diesel, warning signs to alert people that the fuel has been marked, and stickers for all vehicles using the dye. The warning signs help deter would-be thieves, but the operation also includes advice for drivers should they be targeted whilst on the road.

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