New analysis from BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has established that its Payment Watch initiative has helped forecourt retailers to recover more than £8m from No Means of Payment incidents.

The analysis has been carried out as part of the latest BOSS Forecourt Crime Index survey for the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.

The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index for Q1 2018 has revealed that incidents of crime on Britain’s retail forecourts rose to 131 (Q1 2017: 117). BOSS estimates that the annual average initial loss per site, before any Payment Watch recovery stayed above £1,000, reaching £1,074, up from £1,046 in 2017.

Analysis of the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index, which is based on No Means of Payment (NMoP) incident reports that are made to BOSS as part of its Payment Watch scheme, found that 84% of motorists return to sites to settle their debt with a forecourt retailer. The value of NMoP recovered by retailers using BOSS Payment Watch reached a total of £8.2m.

Where motorists do not return and pay for fuel BOSS will pursue vehicle owners and take steps to recover the debt. During the last 12 months BOSS has recovered and returned more than £1m to BOSS members.

Kevin Eastwood, executive director of BOSS, said: “BOSS Payment Watch has been carefully designed to persuade motorists to return and pay at sites and only if they don’t does BOSS begin its Debt Recovery Procedures.

“The latest research demonstrates that by adopting a robust procedure to tackle forecourt crime forecourt retailers can recover significant amounts of money. The latest survey results show that more than 80% of motorists return to pay their debt which is worth over £8m in additional annual revenue.

“BOSS is already recovering £1m a year on behalf of forecourt retailers but we still need retailers to remain vigilant and 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.