BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, is now recovering more than £1 million every year on behalf of fuel retailers who are members of BOSS Payment Watch, according to the orgnaisation’s executive director.

He said the scheme is the most successful and customer friendly debt recovery service available to forecourt retailers and is proven to reduce losses from motorists claiming to have No Means of Payment.

During 2017 the BOSS Payment Watch debt recovery initiative returned more than £1 million to forecourt retailers, bringing the total recovered on behalf of forecourt retailers to more than £4 million. In addition, BOSS is currently pursuing another £1.5 million of debts from motorists claiming to have No Means of Payment and then failing to settle the debt.

Eastwood said: “Returning more than £1 million during the past 12 months to retailers is a significant milestone for BOSS and demonstrates that forecourt crime is at an unacceptable level.

“During 2017 we saw the number of forecourt crime incidents involving motorists claiming to have No Means of Payment increase and, when combined with rising fuel prices, it’s putting further pressure on retailers. This problem must be tackled firmly to prevent it escalating.

“BOSS is taking a proactive approach and working in partnerships with police, which means that motorists who are shown to be persistent offenders and deliberately evading payment, are pursued and brought before the courts.

“In the past six months, BOSS has referred more than 50 No Means to Payment cases to the police for investigation. These add to numerous cases which are at various stages of prosecution and recent court action instigated by BOSS includes Thomas Standage, from Essex, being sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment.”

One third of UK forecourt retail outlets are members of the BOSS Payment Watch scheme and members include all the major fuel brands, leading independents and major supermarkets. Since the scheme was introduced participation has grown steadily and proved to be the most effective scheme operating for UK fuel retailers.