Fuel thieves will be given the “benefit of the doubt” as part of a trial launched by Queensland police on Tuesday.
The one-month trial has been ordered in an effort to “reduce the need for police intervention” in suspected fuel drive-offs.
The Queensland Police Service will send text messages asking drivers who leave without paying for fuel to go back to the service station.
“The QPS will identify itself in messages issued, which will also contain the registration number of the vehicle involved, the date and time of the incident and a prompt to contact the service station,” according to a police statement.
“The message will give owners of vehicles involved in fuel drive-offs the benefit of the doubt by asking them to return to the fuel station to resolve the matter.”
Driving off without paying for fuel is still a criminal offence, Acting Superintendent Sharee Cumming said.
“This can happen for various reasons including being distracted at the pump and then forgetting to pay before driving away.
“The trial is designed to encourage people involved in a fuel-drive off, either inadvertently or on purpose, to pay for their fuel, which will reduce the need of our frontline officers to commence investigations, into these type of matters, in the first instance.”
Extracted from Brisbane Times