The cost of forecourt crime has risen steeply during the third quarter of 2017, according to BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate.

The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index shows incidents of crime on Britain’s retail forecourts increased slightly in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017, but rising fuel prices created a jump in the value of losses and it now costs each site, on average, more than £1,000 a year.

The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index is based on No Means of Payment (NMoP) incident reports that are made to BOSS as part of its Payment Watch scheme. During Q3 2017 the BOSS index increased one point to 122.

The BOSS index has risen 13 points during the last 12 months, and a total of 22 points since it was established at 100 in Q2 2015.

The comparison of Q3 2017 with Q3 2016 reveals that 6.5 incidents per site were reported for Q3 2017, versus 5.8 incidents per site during Q3 2016.

These incidents generated an average initial loss before any recovery by BOSS of 235 litres per site (Q3 2016: 206 lps), and the average fuel price was 117.6ppl during Q3 2017, (112.1ppl: Q3 2016).

This combination of factors resulted in an average initial loss per site of £276 in Q3 2017 (£231: Q3 2016).

In the year ending Q3 2017 the average number of incidents recorded per site was 25.0, with an average incident value of £41.03. The BOSS analysis shows that the average initial loss per site before any Payment Watch recovery reached £1,025, up from £864 in the previous year.

Kevin Eastwood, executive director of BOSS, said: “A rise in the number of forecourt crime incidents combined with increasing fuel prices is beginning to put further pressure on retailers. This problem needs to be tackled firmly to prevent it escalating.

“We fully appreciate that police forces are under considerable pressure, but, by taking a proactive approach we know that stronger partnerships can be forged and that there are greater opportunities to reduce retailer losses, increase recovery and bring persistent offenders before the courts. This approach demands that we, as an industry, take responsibility to ensure that where incidents do take place the correct evidence is collected and retained.”

Forecourt crime is estimated to cost retailers more than £30 million pounds annually with some two thirds of crime resulting from Drive-Offs and the remainder coming from NMoP incidents. Since BOSS Payment Watch was introduced more than £3m of NMoP losses have been recovered and returned to retailers.