Petrol thieves who fill up then flee will be the focus of a new campaign to help Victoria Police crackdown on fuel theft.
Minister for Police Lisa Neville has launched the We See You Too campaign, which will be delivered by Crime Stoppers Victoria.
The campaign, developed in partnership with Victoria Police, petrol station operators and industry associations will run over the next four weeks at petrol stations that have high prevalence of fuel theft, in Melbourne’s north and south including Geelong, Wyndham, Werribee, and Hume.
The campaign will see anti-theft messaging on fuel nozzles and digital displays at petrol stations and will run across social and media platforms encouraging the community to report fuel thefts to Crime Stoppers.
It supports the recent change in Victoria Police’s policy in response to fuel theft to now investigate all fuel theft incidents and hold offenders to account, a turnaround from 2013 decision by police to treat fuel thefts as primarily a civil matter.
It’s estimated that fuel theft costs retailers up to $20 million per year, with Victoria Police spending roughly 21,000 hours investigating the crime.
Victoria Police has already reported a 20 per cent increase in reports of fuel theft since it boosted its response to the issue earlier this year.
This change will see an increase in the number of fuel thefts being investigated and offenders charged, it will assist police in prosecuting repeat and serious offenders involved in other serious crimes like robberies.
Some vehicles involved in petrol thefts have stolen number plates, which is why the Government is delivering a series of number plate theft reduction initiatives as part of a $1.47 million Number Plate Theft Reduction Trial.
Watch VACC’s CEO, Geoff Gwilym’s update on the activities surrounding fuel theft; https://vimeo.com/285408777