Forecourt fuel crime is continuing to grow, albeit at a slower pace, according to the latest Forecourt Crime Index from BOSS – the British Oil Security Syndicate. The Forecourt Crime Index has shown that the volume of forecourt fuel crime reported during the third quarter (Q3 2021) increased by 9%.
During the three months to 30 September 2021 the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index increased to 185 (170: Q2 2021). The 9% quarterly increase was lower than the 20% growth reported during Q2 2021, primarily because Drive-Off incident reports grew at a lower rate during the quarter.
The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index covers reports of No Means of Payment (NMoP) and Drive Off incident reports that are made to BOSS Payment Watch, the specialist forecourt fuel loss recovery service. During Q3 NMoP incident reports increased by 11.5% (12.9%: Q2 2021) and Drive-Off incident growth fell to 7.5% (37.6%: Q2 2021).
The average number of incidents per site increased to 18.7 (17.1: Q2 2021), however, the average litres of fuel taken per incident increased 20.5% to 56.3 litres (46.7 litres: Q2 2021).
During Q3 fuel prices held steady at an average of 131.5 pence per litre (ppl) (128.4 ppl: Q2 2021) for unleaded, however, there was significant supply disruption across the country during September.
Kevin Eastwood, BOSS executive director, said: “We’re getting to a stage where forecourt fuel crime costs forecourts nearly £100 million every year and it’s of great concern that incidents of this type of crime continue to grow. While the pace of the increase has slowed it is still putting added financial pressure on forecourt operators.
“Motorists claiming to have No Means of Payment is the biggest challenge facing forecourt operators and accounts for more than two thirds of all forecourt fuel crime by value. Fuel crime can cost an average forecourt outlet more than £10,000 in lost revenue every year.
“In the majority of cases motorists make a genuine mistake when they have no means to pay for fuel. We recommend that forecourt staff should follow well documented procedures, such as Payment Watch, so that motorist can return to pay either in person, via phone or online.”
BOSS Payment Watch is the leading debt recovery service that is available to fuel retailers. The scheme features a robust set of guidelines and procedures that help forecourt retailers to deal with bilkings, Drive-Off and No Means of Payment incidents.
Forecourt crime reduction guides that help forecourt retailers to reduce incidents and keep forecourts safe places to work and shop are available from BOSS. A free copy of the BOSS Drive-Off Prevention guide can be downloaded from the BOSS website at https://bossuk.org/guidance