Spike in oil thefts linked to hike in oil prices - Blair

MARAUDING thieves have been targeting oil tanks in Randalstown - to such an extent that police have launched an awareness campaign.

Leaflets have been distributed in the town, with timely advice to keep the crooks at bay.

Joining them were Alliance MLA John Blair and Councillor Glenn Finlay.

“Local police should be congratulated on taking the lead in engaging with the public when patterns around these crimes start to develop,” said Mr Blair.

“Some have said that a hike in oil prices coupled with COVID pandemic and unemployment could have contributed to the apparent increase in heating oil crime.

“Whatever the reasons there is evidence that local homes, businesses and farms have been targeted.”

Speaking after a visit to The Oaks, Councillor Finlay urged locals to remain vigilant.

“Domestic heating oil tanks can hold many hundreds of pounds' worth of oil so it is important we raise public awareness on crime in the area, and advise constituents to take precautions to protect their oil,” he said.

“Rural locations are more prone to crime, so it is particularly important for Randalstown constituents to take the police advice seriously.”

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