University of Leicester eBulletin

Crime Bill is Down on Britain's Service Stations

July 2002
No 157

New figures released by the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS) reveal a substantial reduction in the cost of forecourt crime.
BOSS - the organisation that tackles crime at Britain's service stations - estimates that forecourt crime, excluding credit card fraud, cost the oil industry £19 million last year compared to £28 million in 2000, and £35 million in 1998. 

The 2001 BOSS Forecourt Crime Survey shows a reduced cost overall, as well as in all main crime categories of service station crime which include drive-offs, burglary and robbery. The only areas which show a slight increase are criminal damage and shoplifting.
When the new figures are measured against the 2000 BOSS Forecourt Crime Survey drive-offs cost the industry £12 million in 2001, compared to £17.1 million, burglary costs £2.7 million rather than £3.5 million, and robbery costs £2 million compared to £2.1 million.
The 2001 Survey was conducted by BOSS using a system developed by the University of Leicester’s Scarman Centre, which undertook the 2000 Forecourt Crime Survey. 

Mark Cash, BOSS Chairman and Division Manager for Esso company-owned sites, said: "The overall message is clear - crime is reducing on Britain’s service stations. Although we have slightly refined the methodology used to measure forecourt crime over the last four years this does not change the positive trend which the new figures show.”  

Cash commented: “We have worked tirelessly with police and petrol retailers to tackle forecourt crime and the new figures clearly demonstrate that our efforts are beginning to have a positive impact. It is vital that we do not become complacent and that we remain vigilant on all our forecourts. BOSS will carry on developing partnership initiatives to tackle forecourt crime head-on.”  

One area where BOSS and member companies are particularly active is in trying to tackle the rising level of assaults on forecourt staff. 
“Forecourt crime is not only about lost revenue and assets - it is about people. Our staff and customers are critical to our business and we need to protect them both. We will continue to invest time and money into this important area,” he said. 

David Swift, Deputy Chief Constable of Staffordshire and BOSS Steering Group member, added: “We know that the people who are committing crime on service stations are often involved in other more serious crime - it is, therefore, in everyone's interests to address and reduce forecourt crime. Police forces are working with BOSS and petrol retailers on Forecourt Watch initiatives, which are proving very effective in fighting forecourt crime. We are delighted with the latest forecourt crime figures which prove that our partnership approach is delivering results.” 

Professor Martin Gill, Director of the Scarman Centre at the University of Leicester and head of the project's research team, commented: "This has been the first industry-wide attempt to assess the true levels of crime committed against service stations and a number of important findings have emerged. The construction of the national crime statistics database should prove an invaluable crime prevention tool for the industry." 

Formed in 1991 by the oil industry BOSS is steered and funded by the leading petroleum companies. BP, ChevronTexaco, Esso, Jet, Q8, Shell and TotalFinaElf are members. It is supported by the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), the United Kingdom Petroleum Industry Association (UKPIA) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

The aim of the organisation is to reduce the amount of crime taking place on Britain's service stations. Working closely with police and petrol retailers, BOSS is responsible for the Forecourt Watch initiative which operates in over 40 areas across the UK. It has seen a substantial reduction in forecourt crime where these partnership schemes are in place. 
NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For further information, please contact: 

Kevin Eastwood, BOSS, Telephone: 01926 864757
Andrew Willis, Scarman Centre Telephone: 0116 252 2458.
Kate Broad, Broad Communication Consultants Telephone: 01509 843308 or 07778 057081

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