Kent

Kent lorry fuel thieves damage farmer's crops

A farmer has claimed thieves siphoning diesel from lorries parked overnight in a lay-by in Kent are using his field as an escape route.

Richard Price said 4x4 vehicles were regularly driven across his crops in Sellindge, leaving them damaged.

Police said there had been 60 reports of diesel theft from lorries in Kent this year and it had increased patrols.

The Freight Transport Association has called for safer places for drivers to take their legally-required breaks.

Spokeswoman Natalie Chapman said the problem had escalated in line with the price of diesel.

Sleeping drivers

She said: "It really highlights the need for more safe and secure lorry parking. Kent has a real lack of that."

Police said the thieves often struck at night as the long distance lorry drivers slept.

Det Ch Insp Matthew Long advised drivers to use secure parking and anti-siphoning devices.

The fields belonging to Mr Price run alongside the M20, where lay-bys are popular with continental lorry drivers.

Mr Price said in the most recent incident up to £400 in damage had been caused to his oil seed rape crop.

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