Measures to stop fraud after binman steals 32,000 litres of diesel

A council has restricted its workers’ access to fuel and fitted anti-siphoning devices to vehicles after a binman stole more than 32,000 litres of diesel worth of diesel and sold it for a profit. Leonard Frankish, 65, of Princess Drive, Grantham, was given an eight month suspended sentence after it was discovered he was siphoning fuel from the bin lorry he drove. Suspicion fell on him as it was noticed that the fuel consumption of his lorry dropped when he was on holiday.

Frankish was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, plus 200 hours’ unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay back the cost of the fuel. South Kesteven District Council has now confirmed what safeguards it has put in place to prevent future thefts.

Employees will have restricted access to fuel based on how often they are expected to need refuelling. Any council vehicles with unusual miles-per-gallon will be flagged. :Binman stole diesel from council lorry and sold it on the black market

Anti-siphoning devices have been fitted to all vehicles, and additional CCTV cameras have been installed to cover fuel tanks. Spot checks will also be carried out to make sure readings are correct. And council employees have now been reminded the council has zero tolerance to fraud.

The theft is addressed in the Counter Fraud Annual Report, which will go before the council’s Governance and Audit Committee next month. The report states: “At the proceeds of crime hearing at Lincoln Crown Court in March 2022, it was stated that the defendant made a total benefit of GBP42,352.35 from his criminal activity. “The figure was calculated on the legitimate market value of the stolen fuel plus inflation.

The amount of GBP42,362.35 was therefore awarded as compensation to the council to be paid within three months [by June 30, 2022].” Frankish was sentenced in December last year after he admitted siphoning off fuel from the truck he was driving for the council over a five-year period. The crown court heard Frankish regularly removed diesel from his bin lorry at remote locations during his round and then dropped it off in 25 litre barrels at his home.

The court heard Frankish worked on his own as both the driver and loader for a small refuse truck designed for narrow roads. When police tried to track him down during his round they noticed a wet patch on the floor where his lorry had recently been parked. The court heard officers eventually stopped Frankish near Caythorpe Heath.

He replied “you’re joking” when told of the allegations but police found two barrels disguised with bin bags in the vehicle.

Similar barrels and hoses were found at his home.