Petrol drive-offs continue to cause headaches for service station owners. According to the State Industry Report from the Australasia Association of Convenience Stores (AACS), petrol theft was up 6.8 per cent nationally for the 2014 calendar year. While service stations have always been an easy target for thieves due to long opening hours and lone working employees, the rise in petrol theft incidents is an important reminder for business owners to be vigilant and consider additional security precautions.
While closed circuit television (CCTV) has been an integral part a petrol station’s security and risk management strategy for many years, a growing number of service stations are ramping up the use of CCTV by placing cameras directly above the petrol bowsers. Strategically placing high definition cameras at the bowsers can help identify offenders by capturing the vehicle’s number plate as well as a high resolution image of the offender by day or night.
As the use of CCTV becomes an increasingly important crime solving tool, petrol station owners are encouraged to review their current security system’s technology. The use of analogue CCTV is expected to dwindle significantly in the next five years, and shifting from analogue to new internet protocol (IP) cameras should be a high priority for any business that may still be using analogue cameras.
According to the AACS report, petrol theft is estimated to cost the Australian convenience industry $66 million a year nationally, with the average store owner losing around $220 a week. To help curb the issue some petrol station owners are taking technology a step further by integrating their camera operations with a centralised network video recorder (NVR). This means that every camera located across multiple service station locations can be hooked into an integrated high speed internet connection, with all video feeds managed from one central location.
While upgrading security at the bowser may help to reduce petrol theft, business owners are warned to not let basic security slip. This includes paying close attention to the petrol bowser areas to ensure they are well lit and placing signage at each bowser to warn would-be thieves that high definition cameras are in use and the area is under constant video surveillance.
Finally, petrol station owners should ensure that security equipment is installed, maintained and serviced by a licensed security expert. ADT Security has technology to help those who own or manage a service station address petrol theft. For more information call ADT Security on 131-238 or visit the ADT Security website www.adtsecurity.com.au.