Petrol Theft Stats Have Plunged In Sydney After Police Asked For Crimes To Be Reported BY FAX

This 1945 version of the fax required a lot more toner. Photo: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty

Hands up if you’ve sent or received a fax in the last 12 months.

No, neither have we.

The facsimile machine has gone the way of the CD slot on Apple laptops, but the NSW Police are doing their best to lead a retro revival by the changing the rules on reporting the crime of petrol theft.

From last September, NSW Police required service stations to report petrol theft by faxing a form to the police. Adding a little bit of antiquated technology has certainly saved the police additional paperwork, with a sharp drop in the number of petrol thefts reported to police since September 2013 revealed in the quarterly update of NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reported crime figures, released today.

Recorded incidents of failing to pay for petrol fell by 17% in the 24 months to March 2014. But lest you think motorists have had a fit of honesty as petrol hits $1.50 a litre, even BOSCAR acknowledges other factors at play.

“This fall appears to be an artifact of a change in police reporting procedures rather than an actual fall in the incidence of this offence,” BOSCAR says in its commentary on the latest figures.

Case solved.