Drivers who fail to pay for petrol are in the sights of Burwood Police Area Command, with officers placing stickers on fuel bowsers to target fraudsters.

The initiative has been launched by the command in conjunction with the Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA) to tackle fuel theft offences in the inner west area, including Burwood, Strathfield, Ashfield, Concord, and Drummoyne.

Burwood PAC crime manager, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Pryde, said the aim was to raise awareness of the offence and to encourage people to pay for their fuel.

“Failing to pay for the fuel you put in a vehicle is fraud and a crime – you are stealing from service station providers,” Det Ch Insp Pryde said.

“Our officers take fraud very seriously and we encourage those who see others failing to pay for their fuel to come forward and let us know.

“These stickers will be placed at petrol bowsers to serve as a reminder to the community that if you fill your vehicle up with petrol, the next step is to ensure that you pay for it or you’ll likely receive a visit from police.”

MTA NSW’s Wayne Pickering said that the organisation had more than 3,000 members, which includes service stations, and these businesses wanted customers to be aware of criminal activity at the bowser.

“The MTA NSW understands important trends in the community, such as increasing petrol prices, and economic challenges, can fuel criminal activity locally,” Mr Pickering said.

“However, we do encourage people that if they see something, to say something – report any fuel theft to your local police.

“We are pleased to partner with the NSW Police to help make aware the impacts of fuel drive offs on small business owners, especially service station owners.”

The initiative will be trialled in the area over the coming months with a view to roll out the program state-wide.

Anyone with information about fail-to-pay fuel offences is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence.

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