QUEENSLAND Police will today start a one-month trial of a new SMS and email system aimed at curbing petrol drive-offs.
It will see a message quickly sent to the owners of vehicles that have driven off from a petrol station without paying, telling them to return and pay for the fuel or face police intervention.
“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,” A Queensland Police statement read.
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“Text messages will not include attachments or hyperlinks.
“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.”
Acting Superintendent Sharee Cumming, Organisational Capability Command, said people leaving service stations and failing to pay for fuel was a significant concern for the QPS.
“Driving off without paying for fuel is a criminal offence,” Acting Superintendent 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.”