1. ITV Report

Rise in cooking oil thefts in Anglia region

Cooking oil can be used to make biodiesel Photo:

First it was metal thefts, now our police forces are having to deal with a new crime - the theft of cooking oil.

There has been a surge in thefts across the Anglia region. Cooking oil, which is used to make biodiesel, is becoming increasingly valuable. 200 litres were stolen from one restaurant in Brandon in Suffolk.

It is believed as much as a fifth of the UK's biodiesel could come from illegal sources, costing the government £25 million a year in lost revenue.

Carrington Fuels in Wellingborough in Northamptonshire buys used oil from restaurants. Owner Paul Fraser says unregulated suppliers are taking his business.

"We're having a nightmare. The oil supply with the duty being what it is, it's not economical. There's very little margin now and with peope stealing it and trying to charge us increased prices it means that a lot of people are starting to pack up."

– Paul Fraser, Carrington Fuels

In some parts of the country it is estimated that cooking oil theft has overtaken metal theft.

It's a trend being monitored by some of our region's police forces.

"In the difficult times and the prices of fuel and the economy the way it is, the temptation to find a cheaper means of fuelling your car is there."

– Sgt Christian Chisnall, Suffolk Police