Police are warning motorcycle thieves that they are now more likely to be arrested after officers teamed up with petrol stations.
Northumbria Police have been joined by local businesses in a bid to help fight motorcycle crime including its associated disorder and anti-social behaviour.
Offenders known to be involved in this type of criminality are targeted by the force and their specialist Operation Benelli task-force.
Now, as part of a pilot scheme launched by neighbourhood officers in Gateshead, petrol stations are getting on board.
As part of the new initiative, anyone who tries to fill up a fuel can will be asked to provide ID and the reasons for drawing the fuel.
It came after police established that underage teenagers had been drawing fuel for their motorcycles, or asking adults to do it on their behalf.
Sergeant Paul Cook, of the Gateshead East Neighbourhood Policing Team, has said the list of those buying fuel is then analysed to try to identify those involved in disorder.
“We carried out a number of enquiries and established those involved in motorcycle disorder had been purchasing fuel in fuel cans,” he said.
“So, we have been working closely with the borough’s petrol stations and have introduced measures to ensure that children can not purchase fuel in this way.
“Those older teenagers who do purchase fuel will now have to provide their details and that gives us a number of evidential leads when investigating disorder.
“That list will also provide us with an opportunity to identify any other unusual patterns of behaviour and ensure the fuel has been purchased for a legitimate reason.
“By working with local businesses, and our Operation Benelli team, we are already seeing results and have reduced motorcycle disorder in Gateshead.
“That work will continue and we hope our efforts will reassure residents in our region that we are committed to targeting individuals who make your life a misery.”
Posters will be placed in petrol stations taking part in the scheme that notify customers about the requirements if purchasing fuel in a fuel can.
Customers are not legally obliged to provide details but businesses taking part in the scheme are likely to refuse service to those who choose not to comply.