“The PRA is pleased to see that forecourt crime is now back on the police’s agenda, following a productive meeting with Chief Constable Simon Cole of the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC)”, said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).
The meeting came after a recent spike in fuel theft, drive-offs and ‘no means to pay’ incidents in petrol forecourts across the UK, along with comments made by Simon Cole of the NPCC that petrol retailers should install ‘pay at pump’ facilities at their pumps to cut crime.
Madderson highlighted problems experienced by PRA members when reporting crimes, which included deterioration in CCTV image quality when submitting evidence and police forces failing to provide crime reference numbers after making a report. He also outlined the efforts that petrol retailers are already making to reduce crime on their forecourts and explained the prohibitive costs associated with retro-fitting pumps with pre-payment or pay at the pump functionality.
Mr Cole accepted Mr Madderson’s response to the ‘pre-pay’ at pump solution, but maintained that ensuring full, high-quality CCTV coverage at all pumps remains key to ensuring fuel thieves are identifiable. Mr Cole also mentioned improvements the police are making to their online systems to make evidence submissions easier and preserve the quality of CCTV footage.
Following the meeting, the National Business Crime Centre (NBCC) reached out to the PRA to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues affecting petrol retailers in more detail. The NBCC represents UK Police forces to work in partnership with the business community, to tackle crimes against businesses.
Madderson added, “We will continue to engage with Mr Cole, the NBCC and other policing bodies to ensure that the issue of forecourt crime is discussed at the most senior levels of our police force.
“It is our hope that the police will support our case for access to the DVLA’s Vehicle Keeper database, so retailers can pursue drive-offs through the civil courts and ease pressure on the police”.
Brian Madderson is available for interview.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.