A self-reporting process for drive-offs established in Northampton is being extended to other parts of country this month.

Launched by Northampton Police in May last year, the scheme is now being adopted by police and retailers in Coventry. Kings Heath Police in Birmingham, and police in Lancashire and Staffordshire are also scheduled to trial self-reporting.

Under the scheme, drive-offs are reported directly to the police in the normal way but instead of a police officer visiting the site, the forecourt holds a pack of documents that are completed by all witnesses and sent to the police together with video evidence. The police will then put a mark against that car registration for further investigation.

“Self-reporting saves an enormous amount of police time and ensures the correct information required is submitted,” says Kevin Eastwood, chief executive of the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS), who is supporting the scheme. “It also shows the commitment by police to deal with drive-offs. They know that repeat offenders are invariably professional criminals wanted for more serious crimes.”

The self-reporting process also covers incidences where the customer has no means of payment. The motorist must return within seven days or their details are given to the police. “If the form is filled in with false information, the police are keen to take further action,” says Eastwood. “It’s encouraging that we’re starting to see a lot more support from police.”