Cumbria

Cumbria Police criticised for not investigating fuel theft

Man putting petrol into car
Image caption Cumbria Police would not investigate as the fuel theft was under £200

A police force refused to investigate petrol theft despite being offered CCTV footage and a car registration number.

A meeting of Carlisle City Council was told Cumbria Police said it was not cost-effective to pursue the matter as the value of the goods was under £200.

Councillor David Morton said the force's response to some incidents was "not good enough".

Insp Diane Bradbury said resources were sent to incidents in which there was a "higher risk to those involved".

Police chiefs across the country have admitted they have to screen out high-volume, "low harm" crimes such as shoplifting and pick-pocketing unless there are CCTV, witnesses, forensics or stolen property worth at least £50, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

However, some forces are charging 20 times more often than Cumbria, which has a rate of 4.3%, the LDRS said.

'Disappointing' experience

Mr Morton told the meeting he had received complaints from residents.

"My experience over the last few months with complaints is, to say the least, disappointing," he said.

The driver he mentioned had filled up with £100 of fuel at the garage and drove off without paying.

When the same thing happened once more, and the garage again had registration details and CCTV, police said they would not pursue the matter because the driver was not wanted anywhere else and lived in Salisbury, Mr Morton said.

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