Businesses and venues with catering facilities are being urged to be extra vigilant and increase security following suspected used cooking oil theft.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "Although a motive has yet to be established, it’s known that used cooking oil has been targeted by organised criminals in other parts of the UK to use in diesel cars.

"In the meantime, owners and catering managers are advised to make sure premises are secure and used cooking oil is kept in a safe place before it is collected for recycling."

Police have issued the following steps to help protect used cooking oil from criminals

  • Ask suppliers for locking barrels. Many cooking oil barrels have a securing ring around the top which can be padlocked to prevent siphoning
  • Ensure CCTV cameras and security lighting are installed to help deter thieves
  • Keep used oil barrels indoors if it is safe do so, or ensure they are out of reach of opportunistic thieves
  • Regular monitoring of used cooking oil levels will indicate if a theft has occurred. Alarms can also be installed in containers if it falls below a certain level