BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate, has welcomed confirmation from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that it has issued new guidance to lawyers and police forces to prosecute motorists who repeatedly claim to have no-means-of-payment (NMoP).
After lobbying from BOSS, the CPS has issued new legal guidelines to police and prosecutors advising them to bring criminal charges against repeat NMoP offenders.
Manjula Nayee, Senior Policy Advisor in the Strategy and Policy Directorate of the CPS, said: “The new guidance sets out how the CPS will work closely with the police to make sure we gather all the evidence such as CCTV footage, vehicle records and fingerprint evidence, to prosecute those drivers who repeatedly do not return to pay.
“Drivers who think they can repeatedly abuse the system designed to help honest people who make genuine errors should be warned – they can and will be tracked down and brought to justice.”
BOSS estimates that motorists who claim to have no means of payment for fuel obtained and then fail to return to make payment, costs UK fuel retailers over £4 million each year. Since 2011 BOSS has identified more than 500 cases of serial offending and over 180 of these have resulted in a positive police outcome, with several more at various stages of the prosecution process.
BOSS has also been working closely with Action Fraud as part of the Home Office pilot for direct reporting of crimes into the National Fraud Reporting Centre, which allows further links to other criminality to be identified.
The new CPS guidelines make direct reference to BOSS and its involvement in submitting these cases of multiple NMoP to police for investigation, as its efforts specifically target such crimes.
Kevin Eastwood, executive director at BOSS, said: “BOSS has been working closely with the CPS for more than 18 months and has provided evidence to demonstrate that there are a significant number of repeat offenders and that positive action is needed to bring them to book and deter others.
“The new legal guidelines to police and prosecutors, advising them to bring criminal charges against repeat NMoP offenders, will make it quite clear that motorists who dishonestly evade payment will be prosecuted.”
The new CPS guidelines can be found by clicking here.