Plant-hire company suffers two gasoline thefts after ‘horrific’ red-diesel ban

The boss of a Scottish building-tools company has criticised the authorities over its red-diesel ban after suffering two gasoline thefts this month.

James Penman, director of Fife-primarily based James Penman Plant Hire, said ministers had been blind to the “horrific” impact of the law trade on industry.

On 1 April, it grew to become unlawful to position rebated red diesel into automobile and machinery gasoline tanks veteran for building purposes in the UK.

With this switch to customary – or white – diesel, which is soaring in designate due to components that contain the battle in Ukraine, police non-public warned about rising cases of theft from sites.

Penman commended CN that his company had suffered break-ins on consecutive weekends, culminating in about £1,000 of gasoline being stolen from a supply lorry over Easter.

“It’s miles horrific what the authorities has [inflicted] on every company,” he said.

“On Saturday evening, some guys broke into my yard, broke the lid off a gasoline tank and syphoned off about 600 litres of white diesel. Any company can handiest procure quite a lot of that.

“It’s miles dearer to interchange than red diesel, and the real fact it’s miles white diesel is additionally motivating the theft.

“Now we non-public by no come had a break-in ahead of the ban and now we’ve had two this month. The authorities doesn’t realise the impact this ban is going to non-public for the industry.”

Penman added that broader financial challenges, such because the designate-of-residing crisis and the impact of the pandemic, had been riding extra criminal activity.

“It’s miles a signal of the times,” he said. “Folks stay in poverty, making an are attempting to compose ends meet.”

The company is investing in increased safety.

“We had some CCTV upgraded final yr, nonetheless [the thieves] wear face masks and balaclavas. We’re going to decide up a security guard in direct. What else can we reach? My seller is fascinated by striking a blue dye in the gasoline.”

Penman additionally called for added “severe” penalties for convicted gasoline thieves.

Supreme month, Police Scotland launched a neighbourhood look for-model online platform to articulate companies of building direct thefts and associated offences of their direct.

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