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Keeping garages and petrol stations safe

Your petrol station is your business and you want it to be as safe and secure as possible. Our advice below shows how you can help keep it crime-free.

Use your senses

Keep an eye on the pumps and if anyone seems to be acting strangely then make it clear that you have seen them and ask them if they need help. You could do this over the tannoy. Or you might wish to ask them to close the passenger’s door – without making it sound like an order.

Trust your instincts but do bear in mind the fact that what might look like suspicious behaviour doesn’t necessarily mean they’re about to commit a crime.

Here are some tell-tale signs that things may not be quite what they seem:

Six ways to spot a thief at your petrol station

Things to look out for:

  1. the driver stays behind the wheel while a passenger fills up

  2. the driver tries to hide their face and body behind the vehicle or pumps

  3. the vehicle is parked facing away from the kiosk

  4. doors are left open

  5. the vehicle number plates are hidden or look like someone has tampered with them

  6. a motorcyclist doesn’t take off their crash helmet

Petrol station security checklist

  • do your staff have a clear view of all the pumps?

  • does your petrol station have good lighting and CCTV?

  • is the CCTV footage recorded in a format that courts can view?

  • does your petrol station have Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)?

  • do you prosecute non-payers? If so, are there signs saying so?

  • is your petrol station well-maintained, clean, tidy and well lit?

  • do you have at least two members of staff working at all times?

  • do you have a panic button system?

Useful links

For lots of advice and tips on how to keep your petrol station – and those who work in it – safe and secure, visit the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS). The Forecourt Watch scheme also encourages garages to work together with the police, to share information on petrol station crimes.

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