The Metropolitan Police has teamed up with the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS) to roll out the Forecourt Watch scheme across eight London boroughs.

Following the success of a scheme in Tower Hamlets, which was established two years ago and has since recorded a 50% reduction in crime, Forecourt Watch has been established in Brent, Ealing, Barking, Dagenham, Newham, Bromley and most recently, Greenwich and Croydon. Hillingdon and Lambeth are expected to become members later this year.

PC Ruari Robertson, pan-London forecourt crime reduction adviser for the Metropolitan Police, said: “In 2003, over 32,000 people drove away from the capital’s 700 forecourts. We now have 145 forecourts signed up to Forecourt Watch and this sends a very clear message to would-be criminals – London is not the place to commit forecourt crime.

“Sophisticated systems are in place to allow forecourts to communicate with each other concerning incidents or suspicious incidences and each borough has a dedicated police officer to co-ordinate investigations and crime prevention.”

Forecourt Watch systems can include automatic number plate recognition; self reporting packs; and a protocol for dealing with incidents where a customer claims to have ‘no means of payment’.