Care and Repair Monmouthshire, a housing advice service for older people, is taking positive steps to prevent thieves targeting the county’s older residents for their heating oil. Monmouthshire, like the rest of the UK, has recently seen an increase in this type of crime.
Mr Pratten, 66, of Penallt near Monmouth seems to be a typical victim. He lives alone in a rural area and had his heating oil stolen during December’s cold spell. He did not discover the theft until he had no hot water, water pipes burst and his home was flooded.
He contacted Care and Repair to see if they could help and they quickly came to the rescue, delivering temporary heating and drafting the help of the local Greenfingers community group to clear up after the flood. Finally, and most importantly, Care and Repair bought a new lockable cap for his oil storage tank to prevent him becoming a victim of theft again.
Mr Pratten said: “I don’t know what I would have done if Care and Repair had not come to my rescue. Firstly, no heating and then flooding during the worst winter we have had for many years.”
Shona Martin, Manager of Care and Repair Monmouthshire, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, Monmouthshire County Council and Melin Homes Ltd. said: “I am just happy that we were able to help Mr Pratten. We acted swiftly so that he could get back to normal as soon as possible and the new lockable cap will stop this happening again.”
The organisation has recently received support from the Community Safety Partnership Community Chest fund to buy 20 new lockable caps.
Monmouthshire residents over 60 worried that they may be targeted for this type of crime could be eligible for a new lockable cap as is anyone of any age who has been a victim of fuel theft.
For more information contact Care and Repair on 01873 854195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org