Crime on Britain’s forecourts cost fuel retailers £25.7m in 2012, up from £22.2m in 2010, according to figures revealed in the annual forecourt crime survey carried out by BOSS, the British Oil Security Syndicate.

Drive-off incidents were responsible for the majority of losses, estimated at £20.4m up 31% compared with £15.5m in 2010 with a further £4.2m lost from motorists claiming to have no means of payment (NMoP) who fail to return to clear their debt.

The combined drive-off and NMoP loss for the average UK service station in 2012 was £2,860, up 28% compared with 2010, partly as a result of fuel prices rising 17.4% in the same period.

BOSS said losses have been shown to fall by up to 55% where it has established Forecourt Watch schemes, and its Payment Watch scheme has helped retailers recover more than 80% of their financial losses from NMoP incidents, with the debt collection element recovering more than £500,000 of NMoP losses.

The survey results also showed that in the past two years robbery losses, including attacks on contractors collecting cash or re-stocking cash machines, dropped substantially from £1.43m to £0.67m with burglary losses also falling from £0.72m to £0.48m.