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The Police Chief Says Drivers, Pay For Fuel In Advance

The top police officer says Service stations should make drivers pay for fuel in advance to prevent theft.

Petrol firms had made it too simple to drive off without spending because they wanted to entice motorists into their shops, said Simon Cole of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

But the Petrol Retailers’ Association said switching to payment at the pump would be “prohibitively costly”.

About 25,000 people every year “bilk” the system by avoiding payment.

Mr. Cole, who is a chief constable for Leicestershire, said 12% of crimes faced by his force were retail-related.

petrol pump

Mr. Balmer said it would cost at least £20,000 to retrofit petrol pumps at a normal filling station to take card payments, while some estimates put the cost much higher.

He added that 50% of the average forecourt’s profits now came from non-fuel sales, especially in rural communities, which had lost amenities such as banks and post offices.

“Many of those services have migrated into the store of a petrol station,” he said.

Mr. Balmer said that although many people had the impression that petrol stations were run by big oil companies, 70% of the UK’s filling stations were actually independently owned.


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