The police have vowed to act “promptly” against anyone caught driving off from petrol stations without paying amid soaring prices.
The force admitted there “can be difficulties in investigating” the crime in part because each incident is different is handled by a different force across the country.
This comes as motorways across the country were brought to a standstill by protestors driving very slowly, as the cost of petrol and diesel continues to soar at the pump.
Motoring group the RAC however have stressed that wholesale prices continue to fall, as the Competitions and Market Authority are investigating why the spring cut in fuel tax has not seemingly been passed on to the consumer.
Unleaded petrol hit a new all-time high of 191.53p per litre, while diesel hung on to record levels at 199.03p a litre, having set a new peak of 199.07p on Friday.
According to Forecourt Eye there has been a 61 per cent increase in drivers making-off with fuel and not paying since the start of the year, compared to the same period last year. The BBC also reported that there has been a spike in abuse against petrol station staff as frustrated drivers pay eye-watering sums.
A spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “Forces will be having regular interactions with commercial providers and organisations, including petrol stations, relating to the security of their sites, and will be working with them to make it harder for criminals to commit this type of offence.
“There can be difficulties in investigating these types of incidents, especially when the nature and circumstance of each incident can be different.
“However, where sufficient evidence is obtained to show that a crime has been committed, forces will act promptly to make sure the offender is caught and prosecuted.”
The force also advised there are a number of tell-tale signs that someone is driving off without paying intentionally including using false number plates, concealing their identity, or filling a plastic container with fuel.
It was unable to say how many incidents of the crime there had been reported since the start of the year.