An index measuring the level of crime on forecourts has hit its highest-ever reading, according to BOSS (British Oil Security Syndicate). The latest BOSS Forecourt Crime Index for the first quarter of 2017 (January to March) has shown it has risen by seven points to 104, compared to the previous quarter’s level of 97, and is up 17 points in the year compared with 87 in the first quarter last year.

The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index was set at 100 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2015 and is based on No Means of Payment (NMoP) incidents reported to BOSS as part of its Payment Watch scheme.

Kevin Eastwood, executive director at BOSS, said: "The rise in the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index shows that NMoPs remain a major cost for the industry and BOSS would encourage retailers to ensure continued vigilance to deter criminal activity.

"The latest BOSS data shows that the increase has been driven by an 8.8% rise in the number of NMoP incidents per participating site in Q1 2017 compared with Q4 2016. The successful recovery of NMoP losses from motorists who do not return to pay within seven days, requires retailers to ensure that they accurately record information about incidents so that BOSS has the necessary evidence to proactively pursue possible offenders. It is essential that evidence is retained for at least nine months, otherwise police are not able to investigate and offenders cannot be prosecuted."