Crime at Britain’s petrol service stations fell by eight per cent to £29.9 million in 2008, reversing a 13 per cent increase in estimated losses suffered by forecourt retailers in Britain during the previous year (2007) according to the latest forecourt crime statistics from BOSS – the British Oil Security Syndicate.

The annual BOSS survey of crime at Britain’s 9,283 service stations put total losses during 2008 at £29.9 million [2007: £32.5 million]. Driving off without paying and incidents of motorists who do not return to pay after claiming to have ‘no means of payment’ accounted for 88 per cent of losses and amounted to £26.3 million, 8.4 per cent down on 2007. This reduction was achieved despite a backdrop of 16 per cent higher average fuel prices than in 2007.

The BOSS figures show that, during 2008, the average value of incidents of driving off without paying increased from £35 in 2007 to over £40, closely corresponding to the increase in fuel prices.

Kevin Eastwood, executive director of BOSS, says:
"This eight per cent reduction in losses does not detract from the fact that crime levels at service stations remain unacceptable. High fuel prices make service stations a target for theft by driving off without paying and claiming to have no means of payment, but BOSS, by working closely with police and regional agencies, has reduced the incidence of this type of crime. Where effective crime reduction strategies have been introduced, the level of losses has been substantially reduced.