A SECURITY expert has been helping to protect churches from oil thieves.

Trefor Jones, of Mold, who has worked in the security industry, has carried out free risk assessments at churches and village halls across the county that could become targets of fuel thieves.

Mr Jones decided to act following a spate of oil thefts in recent months where thousands of pound worth of fuel has been stolen from oil tanks.

He said people had since acted on his advice.

“A lot of them have had a review and have taken it on board,” he said.

“I don’t think people really understand the value of the fuel they have purchased and rather naively it’s left at risk.”

His advice includes relocating the tank so it is out of site, building a protective wall around it and installing a padlock, additional lighting and an alarm.

Earlier this year more than £4,000 worth of oil was taken from properties in Gwernaffield and Pantymwyn, Soughton Memorial Hall and churches in Gwernaffield, Cilcain, Nercwys and Rhydymwyn.

But in recent weeks the culprits have been back, this time targeting private properties in rural areas including Cymau, Treuddyn, Ffrith and Llanfynydd.

Mr Jones added: “You should check the oil level regularly and not just when you need oil. Thieves can drip feed it taking a bit at a time so you don’t realise it’s gone, so check the tank every week.”

Anyone with information about oil thefts should call North Wales Police on 101.