Visit our new website
Our new website is coming soon - you can view some of the new features by clicking the link. Check back for updates on careers, firearms and explosives licensing, crime prevention advice and more.
Visit our new website
Search Site

Leave page quickly

Forecourt Watch Scheme

What is Forecourt Watch

The offence of making off without payment, commonly known as 'bilking' is an offence under Section 3 of the Theft Act 1978.

The definition of the offence is a person who, knowing that payment on the spot for any goods supplied or service done is required or expected from him, dishonestly makes off without having paid as required or expected and with intent to avoid payment of the amount due shall be guilty of an offence.

The most common type of the offence affecting retailers is the making off without payment for fuel at service stations, commonly known as a 'drive off'.

For a number of years Warwickshire Police have operated a forecourt watch scheme which sets out procedures for the reporting and recording of making off without payment offences.

In 2014 new recording protocols were introduced whereby all incidents of making off without payment are recorded as crimes by the police. This has not affected the protocols in respect of the actions to be taken by staff at service stations. These are as followed:

When a 'drive off' is committed you must

  • immediately take notes of the incident: including vehicle registration number, vehicle details (make, model and colour if possible) descriptions of person(s) involved.
  • print sample receipt (showing grade of fuel, volume dispensed, pump number, and value)
  • call the police to report the offence of 'drive off'. The police call handler will take details for a crime report, and arrange for police officer to attend the petrol station and collect a pack containing all evidence of the offence
  • prepare the evidence pack, which must include; CCTV footage of the incident stopped immediately before the incident occurred. Rough notes made immediately after the incident. Completed statement form by witness, including all details of incident, offending vehicle and persons involved, with rough notes: CCTV footage and sample receipt included as exhibits. The evidence pack must be ready for collection when the police officer attends the station. If is not ready this can greatly affect how an offence is investigated

The Forecourt Watch scheme has also proven to be a useful tool in respect of the sharing of useful information. By signing up to the scheme you will receive messages from the police warning of vehicles involved in this type of offence. The information shared through the scheme has assisted the police with the detection of other crimes and has also helped with the prevention of 'drive off' offences.

If you are not already signed up to the Warwickshire Police Forecourt Watch Scheme please complete the attached document and return to the Watch Co-ordinator at Leamington Spa Police Station, Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa, CV32 4EL.