Police chiefs call for legislation to end gas and dash

Ontario’s police chiefs are calling on the provincial government to mandate per-paid gas pumps in order to put an end to gas and dash thefts.

The issue was recently discussed at a South Simcoe Police services board meeting. The force has received more than 550 complaints from gas stations over the past four years.

“It’s captured on camera at a lot of the gas stations, so we ca tell quiet often very quickly whether it’s someone who’s just distracted, “said Chief Andrew Fletcher.

Police say only a small number of those complaints have resulted in criminal charges because of intent.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police says the thefts are entirely preventable and cause unnecessary injuries and death to service station employees.

“Store owners and kiosk owners have chased car down the road trying to get a licence plate and they get run over or they get stuck,” said Fletcher.

Adding to the frustration, police chiefs say investigations can last hours and even days, impacting the ability to respond to other community priorities.

“The police service are an investigation body, they’re not a collection agency,” said Fletcher.

The association says they have had positive discussions about the issue with the province, but admit getting legislation will likely take more time.