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New scheme aims to thwart heating oil thieves

Andy Patton, Sion Mills Neighbourhood Watch, Evans O’Kane, Daniel Donaghey and Patsy McGonagle (Policing Community Safety Partnership). Evans and Daniel received oil tank locks from Andy and Patsy as part of a joint anti theft programme by the Neighbourhood Watch and PSCP. DR07

A NEW scheme has been rolled out in Sion Mills to counteract the threat of home heating oil thefts.

Last month local police warned that oil thieves are on the prowl, following a number of incidents.

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One elderly woman in the Castlederg area had her oil tank emptied and then just a day later police were investigating a similar incident in Sion Mills.

On the back of that, Sion Mills Neighbourhood Watch have secured oil tank locks for anyone worried about such thefts in the Sion area.

“We’re actually handing them out this week,” local man Andy Patton explained.

“There were a number of attempted oil thefts and after that, I contacted the PCSP (Policing Community Safety Partnership) to see if they had any oil tank locks. Thankfully they had and I’ve been giving them out steady since. There has been some 38 householders which have taken up the offer and at this stage we’re looking for even more locks.”

He added, “They would certainly deter anyone going to steal oil, and that is never a bad thing.”

When contacted in relation to the scheme, a spokesperson for the PCSP said the oil locks scheme was in response to concerns raised by the Sion Mills Neighbourhood Watch.

“As part of our Safer Homes Scheme, Derry and Strabane PCSP was able to provide a number of oil tank locks to the Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for onward distribution to local residents.

“For further information regarding the Safer Homes Scheme, please contact the PCSP office by telephone 028 71 253 253 or emailingpcsp@derrystrabane.com.”

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