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Kevin Eastwood: executive director, BOSS
13 January, 2020

This year BOSS will be celebrating the first decade of BOSS Payment Watch and our research indicates that since it was established, we've helped forecourt retailers to prevent and recover £100m of losses from forecourt crime.

The first 'no means of payment' (NMoP) scheme was a real milestone for BOSS. The 2010 trial involved 40 retailers in Nottinghamshire and was designed to help motorists who found themselves in the embarrassing position of filling up, but had no means to pay for fuel.

The scheme became an easy-to-use and customer-friendly service, but it was also intended to provide a clear deterrent to anyone who might have been considering not returning to pay. At that time retailers told us that when some motorists were faced with the new BOSS documentation, they suddenly found a way to pay for their fuel. This is still the same today.

We've seen a steady rise in the number of forecourt crime incidents recently. The BOSS Forecourt Crime Index has climbed from 100 in 2015 to 170 in Q3 2019, and in the current climate we see the rise remaining steady.

Our response has been to extend the reach of BOSS Payment Watch, introducing a new digital reporting platform and a new and improved service which embraces both drive-offs and NMoP. Where it operates incidents of crime start to fall, recovery increases and retailers reduce demand on police resources so they can concentrate on more serious incidents and crime prevention.

BOSS is gathering a huge amount of data about drive-offs and NMoP. We're doing more analysis, giving us a greater understanding about the size and types of issues retailers are facing. This new data will allow us to publish new information about the true cost of forecourt crime later this year.

BOSS Payment Watch is spreading across the country and, with superior information about forecourt crime, we'll become even more proactive and so tailor support for members based on real facts. We will only need to involve the police where there is clear evidence of fraudulent and criminal actions that intend to deprive forecourt retailers of their rightful proceeds.


Has the Government's shock announcement to bring forward the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles - as well as hybrids - to 2035 or even earlier caused concern and disruption to your future forecourt development plans?