UKLPG has welcomed the successful prosecution of a person who attempted to steal over 400 empty LPG cylinders.

The trade body for the UK's liquefied petroleum gas industry welcomed the prosecution following a string of arrests made by the British Transport Police (BTP) in December 2014. UKLPG said the prosecution reinforces the consequences of mishandling cylinders, from both a legal and safety standpoint.

Rob Shuttleworth, chief executive of UKLPG, commented: "LPG cylinders are portable, convenient and have a very good safety record, which is why they are used so widely in the UK to provide heat and power. However, they should not be tampered with or transported without proper attention to safety. This includes the misguided trend for converting cylinders into wood burners or home decorations.

"Gas cylinders are designed for reuse upon return and remain the property of the gas company throughout, so should not be exported, transported or sold without the express permission of the owner."

The defendant in the recent case pled guilty to theft, dangerous transportation and dangerous shipping and was sentenced to eight months in prison for attempting to transport more than 400 empty gas cylinders from the UK to Ghana.

Mr Shuttleworth continued: "The outcome of this case shows that the law enforcement agencies and LP Gas industry are serious about prosecuting people who steal or misuse gas cylinders. The risk of damage, injury or explosion when cylinders are not handled appropriately should not be ignored and this case shows that there are real consequences for breaking the law."

LPG cylinders are safe when used correctly in accordance with the supplier's safety instructions. However, LPG is a highly combustible fuel and even if a cylinder appears empty, residue gas can be ignited by sparks caused by cutting the metal.