Four petrol forecourts in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire have joined forces in a new drive-off report scheme. This

means that drivers in the Newent area who make off without paying for their fuel will find their cars blacklisted at neighbouring garages.

Called Garage Watch, the scheme was created by PC Brian Howard of Forest North Safer Community Team. He set it up after a prolific fuel offender hit three garages in one month.

The four forecourts involved are Meridian Service Station in Gloucester Road, Newent; Highleadon Filling Station in Highleadon; General Garage in Huntley; and Cross Hands Garage in Corse.

When one garage becomes the victim of a drive-off, staff immediately call the other three with the offender’s details (car make, colour, registration number), so they are well prepared.

PC Howard explained: “In policing this area for the last five years I have noticed that when one garage gets hit, quite often one or more of the others in this area will suffer from the same offenders. This was demonstrated just last month when one car visited three petrol stations and made off without paying.”