BOSS; the British Oil Security Syndicate, the body that campaigns to reduce crime on forecourts, has written to Home Office minister Norman Baker to bring to his attention that BOSS has recovered £1.5m as a direct result of forecourt retailers taking positive action to reduce crime and losses from people claiming to have No Means of Payment (NMoP).

Kevin Eastwood, executive director at BOSS, said: “It is disappointing to hear recent comments from Norman Baker at the Home Office. We’ve worked closely with the Home Office for many years to find new and improved ways of tackling crime on forecourts.

“The BOSS Payment Watch scheme is an excellent example that has proved extremely popular and effective for forecourt retailers and since the scheme was started in 2011 it has now recovered £1.5m for participating retailers, more than £400,000 in this year alone.

“Government does recognise the work retailers are doing and we’ve been asked to present our findings to the Home Office this month. Hopefully Mr Baker will be able to attend. We’ve found that that by forming stronger relationships between retailers, the police and oil companies, incidents of forecourt crime drop significantly. And where crime does occur we’ve worked with the authorities to bring offenders before the courts, especially multiple offenders.

“We’ve used technology to become more proactive in targeting serial offenders and thousands of incident reports from BOSS members have been analysed. By identifying repeat offenders, often operating across police boundaries, we can prepare evidence and help the police to bring offenders who abuse ’No Means to Pay’ schemes to justice.”

BOSS has been instrumental in initiating a steady flow of prosecutions. Among recent successes Aaron Cawley, was jailed for 10 months for stealing £1,000 of petrol between July 2011 and October 2013 at Gloucester Crown Court.

BOSS crime reports also help Government agencies. Recent evidence submitted regarding multiple offending has been used in anti-terrorist prosecutions and also illegal immigration.

More than 1,600 service stations are members of BOSS Payment Watch, including major independents, such as MRH, Sewell on the Go and the Central England Co-operative.