When the new prime minister takes office this month one of my first tasks will be to bring to their attention the proactive approach that fuel retailers have taken to reduce pressure on police resources. At BOSS we can demonstrate that our members have formed an effective partnership that can deliver safer environments for people to work and shop in.
For more than 25 years we’ve been working closely with fuel retailers, police, government departments and other agencies to reduce crime. During this period we’ve developed a range of solutions that have had an impact. Disappointingly overall crime does not go away, it constantly changes shape to find new ways to work around tighter security.
Increasingly technology has come to the aid of retailers and BOSS has developed a digital platform that not only helps us to chase those involved in non-payment incidents but it is now giving retailers the opportunity to become more efficient and profitable.
Collecting detailed evidence about each incident is now more streamlined. The BOSS Payment Watch scheme has proved extremely effective when the evidence that is collected is accurate. This then allows BOSS to recover up to 80 per cent of financial losses incurred from their No Means of Payment and Drive-Off incidents.
Since we introduced an upgraded BOSS Electronic Reporting System our analysts have seen a jump in reporting. Is this because there is more crime? No, our enquiries have found that there are more reports because it is now an easier and faster way to report incidents, rather than increasing pressure on already over-stretched police forces.
We are also finding that with more efficient ways of reporting incidents, there is a greater responsibility on retailers to make sure that their crime reporting procedures are robust and that their staff have the necessary skills to allow genuine mistakes by customers to be corrected, while real criminals can be pursued.
Staff on forecourts are more than operators of cash tills. They are brand ambassadors, they manage logistics, they are the eyes and ears for security, and often more. Therefore it is critical that as our sector seeks to tackle crime and the threat of crime more effectively, on-site staff should have the right training and guidance that gives them the appropriate skills to do their job.
The benefits, for both retailers and police, are potentially considerable at a time when retailers are taking more responsibility to record details of incidents accurately and report in a timely manner, through BOSS, to the police.
BOSS Executive Director
9 July 2019
This article first appeared in Forecourt Trader