BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has launched a new forecourt crime index to help retailers benchmark their performance against quantified national averages.

To set up the index BOSS has analysed data from thousands of incidents that it has recorded as part of its Payment Watch activities since 2014. The start point for the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index was 100 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015.

From this start point the index fell throughout 2015 to reach 87 in Q1 2016. There was a spike in incidents of No Means of Payment (NMoP) during Q2 2016, when the BOSS Index rose to 101. Since then the BOSS Index fell to 97 in Q3 2016 and remained at 97 in Q4 2016.

During Q4 2016 the average number of NMoP incidents per site reported to Payment Watch was 5.8. The average loss per incident was £40.52 and the average litres taken per incident was 34.67 litres. 

Reports to Payment Watch, which exclude those incidents where the motorist returned to pay at the site, averaged £233.02 per site in 2016 Q4 (£220.59 in 2015 Q4).

The average NMoP initial loss per site reported to Payment Watch during 2016 was £884.34 (2015: £885.83).

BOSS Forecourt Crime Index 2015 to 2016

2015 Q1                      100

2015 Q2                      89

2015 Q3                      97

2015 Q4                      92

2016 Q1                      87

2016 Q2                      101

2016 Q3                      97

2016 Q4                      97

Kevin Eastwood, executive director at BOSS, said: “We believe that by publishing the results of the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index regularly we will be able to help all retailers monitor their own activities in the fight against forecourt crime. The results of this detailed survey demonstrate that NMoPs represent an ongoing problem that must be firmly resisted.

“It is clear from our records that the customer friendly approach of the BOSS Payment Watch scheme and our proactive policy of pursuing persistent offenders is sending a powerful message that deliberate attempts to avoid paying for fuel will not be tolerated. With reported NMoP incidents running at a rate of around £800 per year, retailers must continue to be vigilant and determined in deterring criminal activity.”

BOSS intends to publish the results of the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index quarterly to indicate whether forecourt crime incidents are either increasing or decreasing.

Forecourt crime is estimated to cost retailers more than £30m 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.