About 900,000 times each year motorists drive away from service stations either without paying or having drawn fuel then claiming that they have no means to pay. These problems cost each forecourt retailer an average of £3,000 every year.

The success of BOSS Payment Watch lies with its tried and tested process and documentation which encourage approximately 75% of those people claiming to have no means to pay for fuel to return to the site and pay.

It is only the tougher offenders who do not pay that then go to debt collection and in these cases BOSS is recovering more than 50% of these debts.

But BOSS does not stop there. Under the Payment Watch scheme BOSS analyses thousands of incident reports which has led to us identifying more than 800 repeat offenders who often operate across police boundaries. During the past 12 months BOSS has prepared and submitted over 200 evidential packages to the police which have been investigated effectively with minimal drain on their resources.

Latest court results include Agit Rai pleading guilty to seven cases of fraud by false representation under the Fraud Act 2006. He has to pay court costs, Crime Prosecution Service costs as well as compensation to the retailer.

Zac Hemming appeared before magistrates at Sevenoaks in Kent, on seven counts of fraud by false representation under the Fraud Act 2006. He was fined £175 and issued with a compensation order.

Danny Brock was convicted of multiple ’no means of payment’ offences and was issued with a compensation order in December last year. A further multiple offender, Stephen Newton, is due to appear before Redhill Magistrates Court shortly for a first hearing.

These are just a few examples that demonstrate that the fuel retail industry has taken considerable strides forward to tackle forecourt crime, but it is only with the help and support of retailers, the police and other partners that we can succeed in the fight.

Accepting that recent austerity measures have brought immense pressure on police resources, retailers do need to ensure that they take responsibility and put in place measures that prevent and tackle crime against their businesses.