Record number of drivers fleeing petrol stations without paying amid price chaos

BBC Breakfast compare petrol and diesel prices

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The claim by the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS) which aims to reduce crimes on forecourts is that fuel theft in the UK now tops £100milion per year, up from £88million in 2019. It comes as the cost of diesel could reportedly hit £3 per litre.

BOSS also revealed there has been a 215 percent rise in the number of motorists leaving petrol stations without paying when the first week of March 2022 is compared with the first week of December 2021, reported the Telegraph.

The average price of petrol at forecourts hit a record 163.5p per litre this week, up from 148.0p a month ago – while diesel was at 173.4p, up from 151.6p a month ago.

Diesel is at more risk of rising faster due to the situation in Ukraine.

The UK gets little oil from Russia – around eight percent of its total – but around 18 percent of the diesel used here comes from Russia.

Police are now reportedly bringing in special measures to combat the rise in fuel theft.

BOSS managing director Claire Nichol said: “Record fuel prices make not paying for fuel more attractive to criminals and early reports indicate forecourt fuel crime has jumped in recent weeks.

“Reported incidents of unpaid fuel are 215 percent higher when comparing the number of incidents reported during the first week in March 2022 with reports during the first week in December 2021.

“In 2019 BOSS estimated that unpaid fuel cost UK forecourt operators £88million per annum. Lockdowns saw incidents see-saw but since the economy reopened forecourt fuel crime has begun to move back to pre-pandemic levels.”

RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said the average price of petrol “appears to be on a collision course with £1.65 a litre”.

He added: ‘While there will almost certainly be more rises this week, drivers should soon get some respite from pump prices jumping by several pence a litre every day as oil and wholesale prices appear to have settled.

“The price hikes seen over the weekend are still a result of the oil price rise which began at the start of the month and peaked early last week.

“As the oil price has now fallen back, we should hopefully reach the peak and start to see prices going the other way to reflect the big drop in wholesale costs seen at the end of last week, subject to no further spikes in the barrel price this week.” readers were appalled at the current prices and blamed UK politicians as much as the war in Ukraine.

‘Benfirk’ wrote: “Increase in fuel gas and electricity is a political agenda. Nothing to do with anything else.”

‘Standstrong’ added: “Lies and fabrication of untruths by our Government. They and previous parties have increased fuel for their own benefit. VED and VAT need to be abolished on all fuel, water and electricity.”

And ’UKUistoast’ said: “The motorist gets hammered every time and the Government could help if they would cut the tax intake but this will not happen.”

AA fuel price spokesman Luke Bosdet said that the 10.6p per litre slump in wholesale costs last week produced “bizarre price anomalies”.

He explained: “In one town this weekend, filling a tank at one forecourt was more than a pound cheaper than directly across the road at another.

“They normally match each other but the petrol station resupplied earlier in the week at the much higher price was nearly deserted while its neighbour had a small queue.

“Unless the price of oil takes off again this week, the AA expects these wild pump prices to stabilise this week and even fall back at fuel stations that were supplied at peak prices but will eventually get cheaper deliveries.”

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