Metro Security - Romford Security Services

Metro Security’s new M.A.R.S retail system combats forecourt drive-off losses

Tokheim Eye IP Connectivity Module - unmanned forecourt security services | Metro Security - Romford Security Services

A recent spike in criminal drive-offs from fuel forecourt sites has seen attention turning to effective ways of combating a problem now estimated to be costing forecourt operators £30 million a year – and an issue that Metro Security’s exciting M.A.R.S system is already helping to address.

The BOSS (British Oil Security Syndicate) forecourt crime index recorded a worrying jump in the first quarter of 2018 – rising from 117 crime incidents during the same period in 2017 to 131 this year. BOSS estimates that the average initial loss per site, before any recovery related to its Payment Watch initiative, stayed above £1000, reaching £1074 (up from £1046 in 2017). Payment Watch allows forecourt operators to chase ‘no means of payment’ customers to clear their debts without involving the police.

Building on this, the innovative and award-winning Metro Analytic Retail Solution (M.A.R.S) system developed by Metro Security can be used at both manned and unmanned forecourt sites to both prevent these incidents and prosecute responsible motorists using evidential quality and interfaced imagery/data.

Simultaneously, added-value features in the M.A.R.S system ensure it pays for itself through store management assistance and improved marketing opportunities, on top of the other tangible security and loss prevention facilities provided.

M.A.R.S has already proved its worth to forecourt operators including George Hammond plc (Deal Services), Great Gas Petroleum in Ireland, Certas Energy, Harvest Energy and Ron Perry & Sons’ service stations.

“We have seen a lot of interest in the pay-at-pump solutions where we monitor re-fuelling, and even talk to drivers 24/7 remotely,” Metro’s MD, Trevor Wallace, tells Loss Prevention Magazine Europe. “Obviously, there is a trade-off with potential losses on food and other sales, but many customers are doing the maths in terms of the locations and levels of footfall and are coming to the conclusion that preventing the fraud is better than trying to re-coup the loss.

“We are agnostic in this debate as we provide solutions for both, but there is an understandable comfort from knowing that the fuel cannot be dispensed without it being paid for. There is not only the loss of the fuel, but also the lost time and wasted police hours, which is why BOSS launched its Payment Watch scheme,” he adds.

Trials have shown six-figure performance improvements with estate roll-outs of M.A.R.S., the magazine reports. Introduced as a crime-reducing solution, fuel company customers have also seen efficiency savings by reducing re-fuelling times.

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