The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has released a technical information sheet to offer advice to police on how to handle gas cylinders at a crime scene.

The new resource, entitled ‘Technical Information Sheet 40, Gas Cylinders at Crime Scenes,’ aims to deliver expert guidance and is available online.

It sets out essential precautions to follow and an informative section outlining significant signs indicating when cylinders should not be approached. The information sheet also advises on appropriate times to enlist the help of the fire service or gas industry experts.

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Doug Thornton (left), CEO of the organisation, explained, “Gas cylinders may be found at crime scenes where they have been brought specifically for unlawful use. Where this occurs it is important that police officers know the correct course of action to take and we hope this document acts as a valuable source of reference in such circumstances.”

The BCGA works with UKLPG, the trade associated for liquefied petroleum gas, to help return misplaced and stolen cylinders to their correct owners. Under the scheme, cylinders are collected free-of-charge and returned to their lawful owner.

The BGCA boss previously highlighted a similar danger after Government budget cuts re-ignited problems with metal theft in January this year. He expressed his fears in a security lapse and stated, “Occasionally, they are stolen for the gases they contain, but more frequently for the scrap value of the metal. This is a disturbing trend…Thieves have little concern over the safety of themselves or the people to whom they sell stolen cylinders and certainly won’t care about releasing gases into the environment.”