THE PSNI has issued a fresh reminder to motorists to make sure they pay for their petrol before the leave a filling station.
Said a police spokesman: “From April of this year, leaving a garage without paying for fuel is now classified as a crime (making off without payment).
“Previously, enquiries would have been conducted to establish if the incident was a genuine mistake or actual theft before being recorded as a crime but now it is automatically classed as crime.
“We are aware that some people genuinely forget to pay and we would encourage anyone who thinks they may have left a filling station without paying to make contact with local police on the non-emergency number 101 so that the matter can be resolved.
“We also know that there are some motorists who deliberately try to evade paying for fuel and police would encourage forecourt owners to take measures to help prevent the number of drive-offs occurring.
“This can include displaying clear signs and stickers around the pumps asking motorists to ensure they have the necessary funds to pay for their fuel and installing CCTV.
“Staff should also be vigilant to activity on the forecourt and report anything suspicious to the police immediately. Don’t forget to note down details such as registration numbers and a description of the driver.
“We would also remind everyone that motorists who fail to pay for fuel at forecourts could be liable for prosecution.”