POLICE have launched a ‘Stay and Pay’ campaign designed to reduce forecourt crime in conjunction with the petrol stations most affected by fuel thefts.

Figures from 2009 onwards show that reports of forecourt crime have steadily risen in the county over the last three years.

Although there was a drop of six per cent last year, this still equated to 456 incidents of suspects leaving without paying for their fuel or obtaining fuel by false representation.

Despite officers working to reduce this type of crime by building relationships with petrol station staff, targeted patrols and use of CCTV, it is believed that the economic climate and rising price of fuel has led to this steady increase.

In response, Wiltshire Police’s Crime Management Unit (CMU) has launched the campaign in conjunction with Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPTs) and the 19 petrol stations most frequently affected.

The NPTs will provide staff with campaign posters and stickers, as well as a training package and guidance notes giving security advice and tips on how to identify offenders.

The agreed course of action now involves the driver returning to pay for their fuel.