High-tech CCTV systems have now developed to a stage where they are a viable way of operating unmanned forecourts and allowing 24-hour operation of sites that are manned during the day, according to Farsight Security Services.

Malcolm O’Shea Barnes, senior operations manager at Farsight Security Services, said: "Over the past three years the use of CCTV at unmanned forecourts has been refined to ensure the safety of the general public.

"Working with technology partners and Primary Authority Partners for Petroleum Legislation, Farsight has produced an affordable and environmentally friendly solution that can be retro fitted around existing equipment. All while following national guidelines."

In 2011, only 1% of petrol forecourts monitored by Farsight used video analytics. In 2014 that number has rocketed to 69%. The remaining 31% are expected to follow.

O’Shea Barnes explained: "Video analytics technology makes unmanned forecourts a safe, cost-effective and secure alternative to staffing. Cameras rapidly identify specific threats. There’s even talk of cameras being equipped with automatic number plate recognition to prevent uninsured drivers filling up."

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