The relationship between petrol theft and petrol prices

Click here for the full report (pdf, 577kb)

Release date: Thursday, 21 December 2006

Every 10-cent increase in the price of a litre of petrol generates another 120 incidents of petrol theft (technically: service station fraud) per month, according to a new report released today by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR).

The Bureau predicts that if petrol prices reach $1.70, the number of incidents of petrol theft will climb to 1,600 per month.

Incidents of service station fraud rose by 33 per cent in the 24 months to June this year. Petrol prices and service station fraud have eased since peaking in May but petrol prices can be expected to increase over the Christmas period.

One method used by offenders to avoid detection when stealing petrol is to attach stolen number plates to their vehicle.

According to the report, the frequency of number plate theft rose 35 per cent in the 24 months to June this year. The Bureau found a close relationship between the number of service station frauds and the number of reported thefts of vehicle number plates.

The Bureau is currently working with NSW Police to evaluate the effectiveness of a new scheme that requires customers to pay for their petrol prior to filling up their vehicles.

Results from the evaluation will be published early in 2007.

Further enquiries: Dr Don Weatherburn 0419-494-408 or 9231-9190