A petrol station owner has got so fed up with bikers ’bilking’ from his BP outlet, that he’s now refusing to serve them unless they take off their helmets.

Owner Nigel Thakrar says he’s been losing around £100 a week from motorcyclists who drive off without paying for fuel at his Snax 24 service station on the A5 in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Now in a three-pronged attack on the culprits, he’s demanding stiffer sentences for those who are caught, he’s installed sophisticated CCTV, plus any biker who refuses to take his helmet off - so that he can be identified by the cameras - is refused service.

A speaker system, operated by the forecourt attendant, tells motorcyclists that they must remove their helmets before the fuel flows. But quite a few still refuse, and just roar off.

Said Nigel: "They don’t like it. Some drive straight off, but they don’t understand the problems we’re having. The thieves know that if they are caught, they’re going to get off lightly in court. There is no way a person is going to get sent to prison for this. Some of them don’t care about being spotted because they’re often driving a bike that can’t be traced back to them. Others obscure their number plates."

"The courts are letting these people get away without punishing them sufficiently. They’ve got to be a lot tougher," continued Nigel, whose forecourt is popular with bikers because it’s so close to Donington Park race circuit.