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Fuel thefts on the rise as arrest rates fall below 1% - Just 70 people charged despite 8,336 offences in past year

Police in London are ‘failing miserably’ to tackle thefts of fuel from petrol stations, despite incidents of the crime rising consistently over the past three years, new data shows.

Figures obtained by Conservative London Assembly member Steve O’Connell showed 22,910 fuel thefts had been recorded since September 2013, with the Metropolitan Police charging just 249 offenders - little more than one per cent.

Police performance this year was at its worst, the data showed, with just 70 people charged between September 2015 and August 2016 – a measly 0.84 per cent of the 8,336 thefts recorded.

GLA Conservative Police and Crime spokesman Steve O’Connell said: “The number of people charged with these offences is staggeringly low when you consider the amount of CCTV evidence the police must have available to them.

“It would appear the Met is not taking these crimes seriously – something I fail to understand when the cost to businesses over the past three years has surely run into the hundreds of thousands.  

“It is quite clear from the data that more and more people are getting away with this every year and it is a problem that will only continue to get worse unless something is done.

“This is a matter I’ll be raising with the Mayor to try and find out why the police are failing so miserably to pursue these criminals.”

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