Police warn businesses in Felixstowe area about cooking oil thefts

By Derek Davis

28th Sep 2022 | Local News

Cooking oil theft increase
Cooking oil theft increase

Suffolk Police is urging food catering businesses to assess their security arrangements regarding the storage of cooking oil, both new and waste.

Organised crime groups are targeting premises that use cooking oil on a commercial basis and are stealing it to convert it into biodiesel.

Sergeant Brian Calver said: "We know that large quantities of cooking oil are being stolen from food catering establishments and the thieves are transporting it in bulk, without the required permits and safety measures.

Sgt Calver

"At a time when many such businesses are experiencing financial pressures, this can have a significant impact on their ability to operate.

"I would urge business owners to read the crime prevention advice we are offering and implement what measures they can to reduce their chances of becoming a victim. The advice is relevant for those in all parts of the county, whether in an urban or rural setting."

Cooking oil storage and security advice

  • Where possible store cooking oil indoors – this applies to both new and used oil.
  • If this isn't feasible, consider keeping it in a strong cage, under lock and key, much like the ones that store gas cannisters at petrol stations.
  • Ensure where it is stored is covered by both CCTV and security lighting.
  • Make contact with the waste collector and agree a suitable time as far as is reasonable for collection. (Clearly, the best way is to ensure they only collect when staff are available and present.)
  • Check that the collector you're using is actually registered with Companies House, as there are some fake companies operating who appear to be genuine.
  • Please ensure that every theft is reported to police, so that we have a clear picture of the issue, enabling us to appropriately resource the targeting of the organised crime groups.

Anybody that has any information can either notify Suffolk Police on 101, or using the online reporting tool: www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/report-crime

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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