Spalding fuel station asks customers for payment method in advance after 'drive-offs'
People using a petrol station overnight have been asked to show their method of payment for fuel in advance - due to 'drive-offs'.
Signs taped up at the filling pumps on the Applegreen forecourt in Spalding (on the A16) tell customers that the rule is now in operation between the hours of 11pm until 5am because of 'a high number' of incidents.
Manager at the Spalding Applegreen branch, Kevin Wright, confirmed the incidents at the filling station, but speaking about 'drive-offs' in general, added: "I think it is widely known within the industry and the police are aware. It is happening here no more than anywhere else.
"We are asking people to go to the night pay window to show their method of pre-payment between 11pm until 5am."
Driving off without paying for fuel is known as 'bilking'.
Commenting on the matter, a spokesperson for Lincolnshire Co-op, said: “Bilking, or deliberately leaving a filling station without paying for fuel, is an issue we are aware of and there are a range of security measures in place at our outlets, including ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) cameras, to help prevent this.”
South Holland neighbourhood policing inspector Gareth Boxall, who is leading changes to neighbourhood policing in Lincolnshire for six months, is encouraging businesses to look at their payment practices in order to prevent incidents.
He said: “Theft of fuel (‘drive-offs’) has been an issue for fuel stations for many years.
"More recently, we have asked businesses to accept payment before releasing fuel and I would encourage all fuel stations to work this into the way they do business. Whilst we record all crimes that are reported to us, prevention is always better than a cure.”
To report information on 'bilking' you can contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 or online at: www.lincs.police.uk