The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index covering the second quarter of 2019 has risen by 21%, according to the latest figures revealed by the British Oil Security Syndicate. The increase is

the largest upward change recorded since BOSS established the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index in 2015.

During Q2 2019 the BOSS Forecourt Crime Index rose to 173 ( 143: Q1 2019), a rise of 21%, and it also found that the average number of incidents recorded per forecourt site increased by 20.6 % to 12.3 (Q1 2019: 10.2). The result means that the average initial loss per site, before any BOSS Payment Watch recovery, increased to £602 in the quarter (£488: Q1 2019).

The average fuel price in the quarter was 130.8 ppl, 4.1% higher than in the previous quarter (125.6ppl: Q1 2019) and the average initial loss per site in litres was 461 (388: Q1 2019). The average incident value increased to £48.80 (£47.90).

Kevin Eastwood, BOSS executive director, said: “The stark reality is that forecourt crime has taken an upward trend which reinforces the need for retailers to remain vigilant. The latest survey indicates that No Means of Payment (NMoP) incidents are becoming more common as fuel prices increase.

“We strongly recommend that when forecourt retailers are approached by motorists who claim to have no means to pay for fuel that has been drawn, that they should follow carefully planned procedures that treat motorists with respect, but follow a robust process that acts as a deterrent to opportunistic criminals trying to take advantage of good nature.

“Recording the correct information about each incident will mean that if a motorist does not return to make a payment for fuel, then we can pursue offenders on behalf of BOSS members. Successfully recovering money owed is more likely when accurate information is collected and recorded about each incident.”

Forecourt crime is estimated to cost retailers more than £30 million annually with some two thirds of crime resulting from drive-offs and the remainder coming from NMoP incidents. BOSS Payment Watch is now responsible for recovering more than £8 million of NMoP losses for retailers.