BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has revealed that weekend reports from forecourt operators to BOSS Payment Watch indicate that the incidents of forecourt fuel crime were down by one third over the weekend of 25/26 September, as motorists responded to fuel shortages at petrol stations.
BOSS is also calling on forecourt retailers to be extra vigilant for motorists attempting to take additional fuel by using large non-certified containers, which is a highly dangerous activity.
Bruce Nichol, BOSS’ operations director, said: “Early weekend reports indicate a drop in forecourt fuel crime of one third. The volume of Drive-Off incidents is down significantly while motorists claiming to have No Means of Payment has remained constant with little change.
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that due to a number of forecourt closures in busy areas, queuing traffic is limiting access and egress for drive offs to take place, this is assisted by forecourt staff being out at the pumps to monitor what is happening, ensuring a smoother delivery of fuel and to prevent unsafe practices from taking place.
“However, more worryingly, there has been an increase in reports of motorists using large containers to draw and store fuel. The use of non-certified containers is both illegal and highly dangerous and should not be allowed to take place. In one instant a small compact car was reported to have drawn 128 litres of petrol.
“We would strongly advise forecourt staff to be vigilant and not to authorize pumps where they see any unusual activity taking place. Common warning signals that a crime might be about to occur include a driver still at the wheel; a passenger filling up; open doors or open boot; number plates hidden or appear altered; lights of the vehicle still switched on; a vehicle parked facing away from the kiosk towards an exit; and customer trying to hide behind their own or another vehicle when filling up.”
“At all times ensure that your CCTV system is working correctly, and the image is clear. Also retain all CCTV images of Drive-Off or NMoP incidents as it may be needed as evidence at a later stage.”
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