A new vehicle number plate recognition scheme ’Pay for Fuel’ has been launched by Integrated Security Management (ISM) in partnership with BOSS and the Avon & Somerset constabulary.
Described as the ’Forecourt Network Solution’, Mark Davis, ISM project manager, claims the scheme results in a 90% proven reduction in forecourt crime. He explained: "With conventional systems the evidence provided cannot always be used in a court of law, but with Pay for Fuel the evidence is automatically presented to the police and therefore acts as a powerful tool to help convict repeat offenders."
The scheme works by recording all vehicle number plates as they arrive on site. When there’s a drive-off, details are sent automatically to all the other sites within the scheme and if that vehicle turns up on another site an alarm is triggered so no more fuel or goods are permitted. A similar thing happens with people who fill up and are unable to pay, with their details being passed on to other scheme members.
Signs at participating forecourts alert customers to the presence of the scheme. Membership of Pay for Fuel costs from £20 a week and is said to be ’all inclusive with no hidden extras’.
Davis said: "With the latest technology linking everyone within the scheme, we can stop drive-offs, IOU and other associated crimes."
BP forecourt customers could come out smelling of roses if a trial of handy wet wipes near petrol pumps proves successful. BP claims it is the first petrol company in the UK to trial the perfume-scented wipes to get rid of petrol smells on hands.
Retail marketing director Chris Sedgwick said: "We want to improve our customers’ experiences on forecourts. They have told us that one of the worst parts of filling up their cars is getting their hands dirty and smelly so we are trialling quality hand wipes to leave customers’ hands feeling fresh and clean."