Any losses from forecourt crime are unacceptable. We fully understand the pressure this type of crime places on retailers, police and government agencies but by developing new and improved ways of working between police and retailers we will reduce losses and increase recovery rates.

With Payment Watch we know that approximately three-quarters of motorists who draw fuel and claim they have No Means of Payment (NMoP), and then sign an undertaking to pay within seven days, are coming back to the site to pay. Our debt recovery team is recovering about half of the remainder. This leaves a hard core of cases unrecovered and analysis of the information we record has revealed that many of these incidents involve customers who have failed to return and pay for fuel three or more times. An important part of our role involves tackling this minority group.

Our policy of pursuing persistent offenders is sending a powerful message that deliberately attempting to avoid paying for fuel will not be tolerated. With NMoP losses reported to Payment Watch now amounting to more than £800 a site per year, according to the new BOSS Forecourt Crime Index survey, retailers must continue to be vigilant and determined in deterring criminal activity.

BOSS has passed details of more than 13,000 individual offences to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau (NFIB) about customers involved with multiple offences of NMoP. It’s a real problem, not just for forecourt retailers, but for the authorities. We’ve been told that 94% of all retail incidents referred to the NFIB are submitted by BOSS an impressive proportion.

BOSS is now calling for additional funding to increase resources within the NFIB so that they can deal more effectively with a growing number of repeat offenders.

We’ve made our views known at the highest level of government but we need to keep pressing ministers.

We want retailers to contact their MPs and make them aware of the problem.

The fight to tackle forecourt crime continues and we must ensure that our politicians are aware of the problem and that more resources are needed.