When the new Prime Minister takes office this month, one of my first tasks will be to bring to his attention the proactive approach that fuel retailers have taken to reduce pressure on police resources.
For more than 25 years we’ve been working closely with fuel retailers, police, government departments and other agencies to reduce crime. During this period we’ve developed a range of solutions that have had an impact.
Increasingly technology has come to the aid of retailers and BOSS has developed a digital platform that not only helps us to chase those involved in non-payment incidents, but is now giving retailers the opportunity to become more profitable.
Collecting detailed evidence about each incident is now more streamlined. The BOSS Payment Watch scheme has proved extremely effective when the evidence that is collected is accurate. This then allows BOSS to recover up to 80% of financial losses incurred from their no means of payment and drive-off incidents.
Since we introduced an upgraded BOSS electronic reporting system, our analysts have seen a jump in reporting. Is this because there is more crime? No, our enquiries have found that there are more reports because it is now an easier and faster way to report incidents.
We are also finding that with more efficient ways of reporting incidents, there is a greater responsibility on retailers to make sure that their crime reporting procedures are robust and that their staff have the necessary skills to allow genuine mistakes by customers to be corrected, while real criminals can be pursued.
Staff on forecourts are the eyes and ears for security, and often more. Therefore it is critical that as our sector seeks to tackle crime and the threat of crime more effectively, staff should have the right training that gives them the appropriate skills to do their job. The benefits, for both retailers and police, are potentially considerable at a time when retailers are taking more responsibility to record details of incidents accurately and report in a timely manner, through BOSS, to the police.