Theft within the agricultural sector tends to conger images of thieves targeting farm machinery and livestock, yet there is a far more common threat emerging. According to the BBC, ‘Fuel theft is the third most common of UK rural crime and according to the BBC, ‘theft cost the UK farming industry £49.7m, an increase of 26% on the previous year, with no evidence to suggest that this figure is decreasing.
There are a number of simple steps which can be taken to reduce the risk of oil theft occurring. Installing CCTV, situating the oil tank out of sight and locking the fuel cap are all good options. However, in spite of these precautions theft may still occur and the result could be more costly than the theft itself. When a theft takes place, the tank is inevitably damaged and this damage can have major repercussions. Farms tend to use large tanks, holding vast amounts of fuel in volumes higher than a thief would normally remove. The residual damage to the tank may result in a new tank having to be purchased in addition to the financial implications of having to deal with a fuel spillage, not to mention the significant environmental impact.
Companies such as WP Group, an integrated fuels and lubricants supplier, have taken steps to combat the repercussions of oil theft by introducing a state-of-the-art monitoring device. WP’s device, aptly named the Watchman Pro, does what it claims and constantly monitors oil levels within the tank. Using a wireless technology the tank level is continuously monitored by an internal device, providing data for the owner via smart phone, tablet or computer. By allowing the user to access this data, it can be determined when an abnormal amount of oil has been used, thus enabling remedial action to prevent further damage or spills, with the added bonus of enabling the user to have greater control over deciding when to top up their tank.
Oil theft is a serious problem for the agricultural industry, but by putting these simple measures into practice you can significantly reduce the risk and financial implications of this crime happening to you.