“PAY at the pump, or pay in court.”
That’s the message from Buckingham police to motorists who are tempted to drive off without paying for fuel.
PC Richard Davis told the Advertiser there has been a recent spate of drive-off thefts at the BP petrol station in Old Stratford Road, Buckingham, and also at Winslow’s Harvest petrol station.
Leaving without paying for goods or services is known as ‘bilking’. And it’s a particular problem at this time of year when people are strapped for cash after Christmas.
Police in Buckingham have been working closely with local BP manager Beth Rocha to clamp down on the problem.
It is BP company policy to report every drive-off to police.
Petrol station staff have constant training from BP, local police are making sure they have a regular presence at the petrol station and warning posters will be going up shortly.
If people have made a genuine mistake by coming out without the means to pay, staff will do all they can to help them find a solution.
But police will seek to prosecute those who make off without paying.
PC Davis said: “If you’re tempted, don’t. Please check you’ve got the money before you fill up. If you go into a garage and have no means to pay, they have no alternative but to report it to the police. We want people to think twice before they consider doing it. You could end up with a police record for a theft offence and that could damage your chances in the future.”