Police Community Support Officer

****PCSO Tracy Bicknell****


****EMERGENCY :- 999****

****NON-EMERGENCY :- 0845 60 70 999****

****VOICEMAIL :- 13375****

****MOBILE :- 07748 402145****

****E-MAIL :-tracy.bicknell@sussex.pnn.police.uk

The Neighbourhood Panel meetings have been discontinued, but whenever possible Tracy hopes to attend the informal "Cuppa and Chat" sessions in Colgate Parish Church held the 1st Monday of every month 10am - 12 noon.


** ****Fuel oils are costly and the theft of many gallons can be expensive to replace, but how do you protect the storage tank? Due to several recent thefts in the area please consider some of the below tips:-**

§ One of the first questions to ask is, ‘If the filler cap is padlocked, will the thief then attempt to steal the oil by gaining access at another point? This could mean the feeder pipe, or drilling into the tank itself, which may turn out to be more costly.

§ It is always best to check with fuel companies that any security you apply to your tank is both safe and complies with regulations governing storage, access and ventilation.

§ Make it difficult for the thief to gain access. Locating the tank as far away as possible from where a vehicle could be parked, can make it difficult for the thief to carry heavy drums of the oil back to his transport. This is not always possible to achieve as access is required by your oil company delivery vehicle, and alternative methods should be adopted .

§ Your tank may be hidden to some extent behind fencing, bushes or buildings. There are custom made sheds designed to hold an oil tank and offer it some additional protection as well as disguising it. This included protecting the filler cap, and feeder pipe. Outer steel tanks are also available.

§ Placing the tank where it can be viewed from your property or others but not from the road, or locating the tank in an area which is continually busy and open to view may be a deterrent, whilst also locking the filler cap and your supply tap if it has one.

§ Locking your perimeter gates. Placing the tank under a PIR operated flood light and or CCTV in some cases may convince the oil thief it is not worth the risk or it is too difficult to attempt.

§ Checking the fuel level at regular intervals helps you know if large quantities are being stolen.

§ Fuel tank alarms are available and some can monitor fuel levels which trigger an alarm if there is a large and sudden drop in the fuel oil level.

§ Putting a smaller amount in the tank can mean less will be stolen.

§ Padlocking the filler cap may be sufficient to prevent theft, but bear in mind the thief may target the tank elsewhere as a result.

§ Check with your insurance company to see if heating oil theft is covered under your insurance policy.

Please contact PCSO Tracy Bicknell on 07748 402145 or email - tracy.bicknell@sussex.pnn.police.uk if you would like to discuss anything.

Some tips for protecting your property from burglary while away

Use an automatic time switch on an indoor light, either in a room that cannot be peered into from the road or upstairs.

Regularly change the timing on the switch

Put a time switch on a radio that has been tuned to a chat station, giving the impression that the house is occupied.

Again; regularly change the timing on the switch.

Fit security lighting - either dusk to dawn energy efficient lighting that will come on automatically as dusk sets in, or infrared activated lighting which draws attention to movement.

Ensure that gates or access to the rear of the house are locked and secure.

Don't forget to lock your shed- your tools can be used to break in.

Trim overgrown plants - don't give burglars a hiding place.

Secure windows, paying particular attention to those on the ground floor and above flat roof areas.

Use locks and bolts and keep all your keys, including car keys, out of sight and out of reach.

Property mark your valuables by using your postcode and your house number or name.

Some articles are unsuitable for marking so photograph them - with a ruler in view to show scale.

Intruder alarms are an effective deterrent against burglars. Before choosing a system ensure it is the one most suitable for your needs.

The best defence against any burglary is prevention.