Police investigating two fuel thefts from businesses on Northumberland harbour

Amble harbour
-Credit: (Image: newcastle chronicle)

Police have launched an investigation after two businesses on a popular Northumberland harbour reported fuel thefts over the weekend.

Puffin Cruises in Amble were forced to take a boat out of service on Sunday after fuel was allegedly taken and life-saving equipment damaged on one of the business's three boats. This came less than 24 hours after Alliance Fish, also on Amble Harbour, reported an alleged diesel theft from one of their trucks, and an attempted break in to a van.

Puffin Cruises, who take visitors out to see seabirds on Coquet Island, say that the visitor side of their business has not been impacted. However, it is a huge concern that the damaged boat is out of action, as it has fire safety equipment and refuelling equipment for the lighthouse on Coquet Island.

Steven Banks, 32, who co-owns Puffin Cruises with his uncle Dave, told ChronicleLive: "We do need the boat that has been damaged in service all the time as it's on call all the time to go to the lighthouse. It's one of our jobs to look after it.

"We have got new stuff coming to replace it and it should be here by the end of the week. It's just a bit disappointing that this has happened here in Amble and that people can't leave things alone."

Joanne Handyside, 52, shop and boat manager at Alliance Fish, says it's the second time in recent months that a similar incident has happened. She said that this time there was more diesel on the floor surrounding the truck than had been removed from the vehicle, and the truck still had enough fuel in to start on Saturday morning.

She added: "It hasn't affected us but I wanted to highlight it to let these people know that it's got to stop at some point".

Diesel on the floor by a truck in Amble after an alleged fuel theft over the weekend
Diesel on the floor by a truck in Amble after an alleged fuel theft over the weekend -Credit:Alliance Fish

Northumbria Police confirmed that they were looking into the matter and considering the possibility that the two thefts were linked. A spokesperson said: "In the early hours of Saturday morning (June 29), we received a report of a theft of fuel from a truck.

"Then between 9pm that night and 7.45am on Sunday (June 30) we received a report of theft of fuel from a boat. Enquiries are ongoing into both thefts and officers are keeping an open mind as to whether they may be linked.

"Anyone with information is asked to contact police by sending a private message on social media, visiting the live chat on our website or by completing a crime update form quoting references NP-20240629-0430 and NP-20240630-0310."