Kevin Eastwood: BOSS executive director

10 October, 2016
Page 18 

Technology plays a big part in our campaign to reduce forecourt crime by speeding up communications and the processing of large amounts of information. More efficient ways of working are absolutely necessary when you consider that approximately 900,000 times a year drivers either drive-off from a forecourt without paying for fuel or they draw fuel and then claim that they have no means to pay and don't return to pay. It's a problem that costs forecourt retailers on average 3,000 every year.

We've used technology to become more proactive in targeting serial offenders under the Payment Watch scheme and thousands of incident reports from BOSS members are routinely analysed.

By identifying repeat offenders, who often operate across police boundaries, we prepare and submit evidential packages to the police so they can investigate effectively, with minimal resource implications and a better chance of a positive outcome.

We've also made it easier and simpler for retailers to submit reports of No Means of Payment incidents. The BOSS Electronic Reporting System (ERS) enables retailers to send details of these incidents to BOSS online, making it quick and easy to submit a report over the internet. For police the advantage is that detailed incident information is received early, meaning that action can be taken and significantly increase opportunities for detection.

Quite apart from shouldering the effect of losses, dealing with forecourt crime represents a huge workload for forecourt retailers, the police and the judicial system. Which is why using our ERS technology enables retailers to submit No Means of Payment reports much faster than posting handwritten paperwork and it's also quick, legible and very cost effective.

Most forecourt retailers face paper thin margins and losses from forecourt crime can have a significant impact on the success of a business.

Using technology to gather information accurately and present it quickly to the appropriate authorities, does make a massive difference. Technology is a tool to increase efficiency, however, it is important that retailers don't ignore the potential dangers and pre-plan effectively to minimise opportunities for criminals to operate.

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About the Forecourt Trader Group
Forecourt Trader continues to maintain its market-leading position as the major source of information for the petrol-retailing sector.

Targeted at independent retailers, all those connected to the industry seek out Forecourt Trader (magazine and website) for its strong mix of news, industry and retailer profiles, as well as scheduled features that cover all categories of a service station operation at length, on both the forecourt and shop side of the business. ...more »