Queensland Police will be trialing texting and emailing drivers suspected in fuel drive-offs from today.
Queensland Police will be trialing texting and emailing drivers suspected in fuel drive-offs from today. Marc Stapelberg

Cops' surprising new tactic to combat fuel drive-offs

STARTING today, Queensland cops will text and email vehicles involved in suspected fuel drive-offs.

The message will prompt owners of vehicles involved in fuel drive-offs to return to the station to pay for the fuel which will reduce the need for 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.

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."

This trial is a crime prevention and public awareness initiative designed to meet the Service's vision of delivering safe and secure communities through collaboration, innovation and best practise.

For more information about this trial click here.