During the second half of 2018 we saw a significant rise in incidents of crime on forecourts, and the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index for the third quarter of 2018 revealed a 13% rise in the number of incidents. Rising fuel prices also pushed the cost of crime to retailers up by more than 20%. We know that levels of crime fluctuate with the seasons and that there is also a direct correlation with escalating fuel prices. BOSS saw No Means of Payment (NMoP) incidents increase during 2018 and we are now dealing with up to 10,000 incidents every month.

BOSS forecourt crime research is now recognised as the industry standard and widely quoted by government agencies and suppliers to the sector. During the last decade, BOSS research has been used to identify trends and build a response to the changing habits of criminals. This is how our innovative Payment Watch and Forecourt Watch schemes evolved and have helped retailers to recover more than £8m during the last 12 months. BOSS research also encouraged the Crown Prosecution Service to change its policy covering prosecution of forecourt offences.

At BOSS we’ve also been undertaking detailed research to establish the ’true cost’ of fuel crime, analysing more than one million pieces of evidence. This has already identified that the majority of drive-off incidents are the result of a failure to pay in-store and are not always the result of motorists driving away from the pump.

By analysing incident reports with BOSS members we have been able to help them improve efficiency and increase their profitability. Making use of more robust data means retailers can see real-time management information that allows them to introduce new methods of working that reduce losses and boost profits.

Tackling crime is now far more sophisticated than it was a decade ago. Developments in collecting and reporting information using advanced technology means the fight against forecourt crime can continue to succeed. And yes, effective recording of forecourt crime does matter and done well it can make a direct impact on your bottom line.