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Early this year The Daily Mail reported that driving away from a petrol station without paying for fuel is no longer considered a crime. The decision came about after Devon and Cornwall Police said it would not investigate forecourt crimes unless there was obvious proof of criminal intent. The force has blamed budget cuts for their decision but this leaves countless business owners at risk.
Where does this leave Petrol Station owners?
Many business owners install CCTV systems with a Digital Video Recorder to capture evidence of criminal activity so Police can investigate. This method is effective at reducing crime but reviewing and sharing evidence with the Police can be time consuming.
“Since the last BOSS survey for 2012, losses attributable to Drive-Offs and ‘No Means of Payment’ (NMoP) combined have risen to £31.4 million (2012: 24.6 million), an increase of 28% over a period when fuel prices fell by 6%. Although the two surveys are not directly comparable as they were based on different samples of service station the upward trend is clear.”BOSS Report on forecourt theft
In a report from the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS), the theft of fuel from Britain’s forecourts cost retailers an estimated £31.4 million during 2014. Kevin Eastwood, executive director of BOSS, said: “Losses from forecourt crime is at an unacceptable level and during the last 12 months BOSS has taken steps to improve the recording and reporting of incidents”.
Monitor Crime with Forecourt Eye
Forecourt Eye is a revolutionary online service (with App) that enables forecourt retailers and members of the public to monitor forecourt crime. Forecourt Eye hopes to provide an all-in-one solution to help forecourt retailers prosecute criminal and civil offences that happen on a daily basis throughout the UK.
Criminal offences are your typical fuel up and drive off cases whilst civil offences typically cover people who have fuelled up and claim to have no means of payment. Both types of crime are a significant percentage of financial loss for petrol/forecourt retailers.
Benefits of Forecourt Eye
Cut crime and fuel losses
Forecourt Eye enables the Retailer and Police to tackle low-level crime by sharing images within groups for the prevention of crime and by submitting digital evidence files to the Police to help solve crimes. The data is also shared with NaVCIS the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Services, linking the forecourt crime to the bigger picture, like Organised Vehicle Crime or Fraud.
Debt recovery deals with motorists having ‘No means of Payment’ after fuelling up. It is enforced through the proper legal channels by instigating HMCTS Pre Court Protocol Directions and (ADR) Alternate Dispute Resolutions after 31 days from the date the fuel was obtained. The debtor can follow the Government HMCTS Court Directions and Guidance, taking them through various legal settlement procedures.
With ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) combined with Forecourt Eye, you can be alerted to Stolen Vehicles, Stolen Number Plates and Repeat offender alerts in real-time.
Forecourt Eye uses file sharing capabilities that allow retailers to instantly share CCTV evidence to Police, which is compatible with current Police systems. Forecourt Eye also gives retailers and Police Forces the ability to track repeat offenders using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras and facial recognition software. This key feature of Forecast Eye streamlines the whole process and allows retailers to monitor criminals operating in their area and gives Police the necessary evidence to prosecute offenders.
What are your thoughts?
We hope you found our article useful and look forward to answering your questions.