Minister for Police, Hon. Lisa Neville, along with Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) CEO, Geoff Gwilym, have a special announcement for fuel thieves: fuel theft is a crime and Victoria Police will prosecute accordingly.
The We See You Too campaign was launched yesterday by Minister Neville, the result of an almost $100,000 investment from the Labor Government. Fuel theft costs Victorian fuel retailers more than $4.2 million per year, and this four-week campaign, developed in partnership with fuel proprietors and Victoria Police, is a short-term initiative with a long-term goal – encourage public reporting to decrease theft rates.
“We know that when fuel theft does occur it’s costly for operators and impacts their livelihood. Anyone caught stealing fuel now has a higher chance of being reported to Crime Stoppers and can face up to 10 years in jail,” said Minister Neville.
The campaign supports the recent change in Victoria Police fuel theft policy – which until recently had been treated as a civil matter.
VACC played a crucial role in bringing about the positive change, which will see:
- Victoria Police acknowledge all reported instances of fuel theft and lodge incidents on an official database industry continue to provide evidence of fuel theft to Victoria Police, which must then determine whether a crime was committed
- Victoria Police arrest offenders if a crime has been established, rather than simply pursue thieves to demand payment
- Victoria Police continue to rely on industry evidence to connect fuel theft with other crimes
Speaking about the policy change, Geoff Gwilym maintained: “This is a victory for fuel retailers. They have been seen and heard by VACC and this is the result.”