Fuel companies fined in Suffolk
Fuel companies have been fined after plain clothes trading standards officers caught three Suffolk petrol stations selling fuel to customers using unlicensed containers.
THREE Suffolk petrol stations have been fined after plain clothes trading standards officers caught them selling petrol to customers using unlicensed containers.
South East Suffolk Magistrates Court enforced steep fines after hearing that earlier this year trading standards officers visited several petrol stations across Suffolk to see if they would be sold petrol they were dispensing into a metal container inside a cardboard box.
The BP garage in Anson Road, Martlesham, the BP Hyperion Service Station on Bury Road Newmarket and the Tollgate Service Station, Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds, owned by Fuel Serve were all caught out in the sting.
Magistrates heard how Trading Standards officer, Kevin Edwards dispensed two litres of unleaded petrol from the most visible pump before leaving the box by the pump to go and pay the cashier.
He repeated these actions at every petrol station visited.
At the hearing on Friday a statement by Frankie Peck who sold the petrol at the Newmarket BP station was read out.
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She said she had received basic training about approved containers but didn't know how to stop the pump from dispensing after she had authorised it.
Her supervisor was away from the till area and she could not attract their attention.
On March 4 the same officers were sold petrol in the same container by staff at BP in Anson Road, Martlesham.
Luke Driver who carried out the transaction admitted that he had not had any training as to what was a safe or unsafe container.
The officers were also able to buy petrol using the container on March 3 at Tollgate Service Station, Fornham Road, Bury St Edmunds owned by Fuel Serve.
Again the assistant who sold the petrol said he had not had any training as to what containers he should sell petrol in to.
Speaking at the case, Penny Simmons, acting on behalf of trading standards, said: "The complete breakdown of BP's training procedures in respect of the Martlesham site meant that cashiers had no idea how to prevent fuel being dispensed once authorised.
"They could unwittingly allow customers to buy, transport and store illegally a dangerous substance that could kill both them and their family and destroy their home. Having not had even the basic safety training they would have had no idea what to do in an emergency situation, thus putting everyone's lives at risk."
BP and Fuel force both pleaded guilty to the charges at the court case.
BP Newmarket Hyperion, were fined £400 for dispensing the petrol and £1,600 for charges in relating to the lack of training.
BP Martlesham were fined £400 for dispensing the petrol and £2,600 for lack of training.
Both BP garages were also charged £2,000 court costs.
Fuel Force Bury St Edmunds was fined £1,200 for dispensing the petrol and made to pay £2,000 court costs.