UK fuel crisis: ‘Selfish’ man arrested with boot full of diesel as prices break records

BBC Breakfast compare petrol and diesel prices

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Lancashire police pulled the man’s Mitsubishi SUV over in Accrington after responding to reports of fuel theft in nearby Burnley. On opening the car’s boot they found several containers of diesel which they believed to be stolen.

The constabulary tweeted: “Mitsubishi stopped in Accrington following reports of fuel thefts in Burnley.

“Male from Heywood arrested after officers found containers of stolen diesel.

“Times are hard on us all and this is wholly unacceptable and selfish. Vehicle seized.”

The arrest comes as petrol and diesel prices once again smashed through previous record levels.

The average cost of petrol on UK forecourts hit 163.5p per litre yesterday, while diesel hit 173.4p per litre.

Both amounts are historic and mean fuel is more expensive than ever before.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “As this is an average price, drivers will be seeing some unbelievably high prices on forecourts as retailers pass on their increased wholesale costs.

“But there was a hint of better news yesterday on the wholesale market with substantial drops in both petrol and diesel which could lead, in a week or so, to a slight slowing in the daily pump price increases, and records being broken less frequently.”

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Some motorists on twitter reported staggering prices being charged for petrol around the country at the weekend.

Online fuel price comparison service PetrolPrices said it was used by 150,000 people last Wednesday.

That is a 10-fold increase since mid-February, showing the rising number of people concerned about the cost of filling up.

The site says several forecourts are now charging £2 per litre for diesel.

Meanwhile, The Federation of Wholesale Distributors has warned spiking fuel costs will cause the price of groceries and food in restaurants to rise.

The trade body told the BBC its members would pass on transportation costs to food industry customers.

Chief executive James Bielby said: “Food price inflation is already happening, but this is going to make it worse, because there’ll be charges passed on to customers and then obviously to end users as well.”

The war in Ukraine has led to soaring oil prices and a 20 percent jump in diesel prices last week.

According to Downing Street figures from 2020, Russia accounts for 18 percent of diesel in the UK, five percent of jet fuel and one percent of gas oil like red diesel.

Industry experts have warned that fuel may need to be rationed in response to the UK Government banning imports of Russian oil and gas.

Some analysts have concluded there is a real risk diesel may have to be rationed, with 12 million diesel cars on the road although sales are on the decline.

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