In an open letter to Service Station operators, NSW Police have affirmed a commitment to addressing this crime and implemented a new reporting, evidence provision and follow up process through the police portal platform, which will allow operators to upload CCTV footage, receive reference and event numbers and SMS notifications when the status of the Report changes.

“Drive off an ‘fail to pay’ are crimes, and they hurt operators (most of which are independent family businesses) so these changes that aim to make reporting easier are welcome” explained ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

ACAPMA encourages operators to understand the changes and to engage with their Local Area Command as necessary.

Dear Service Station Operator,

The offence of Fail to Pay (also known as Drive-Offs) is an ongoing concern of the service station industry and wider community. The NSW Police Force has a standardised way that these offences are reported by the service station industry to the police. This will assist the police to identify, investigate and prosecute people who commit this crime. Police attendance at every offence of this type is not necessary.

The process has been updated and incidents where no emergency exists and immediate investigation by a police officer is not necessary, can now to be made online via the NSW Police Force Community Portal.

The Process

Access the NSW Police Force Community Portal. You will be asked to provide a valid email address and your details, after selecting the Fraud report, to get started.

I want to report  > Fraud

In order to determine what type of fraud you wish to report online, you, as the service station representative, will need to complete a short questionnaire with yes, no or picklist responses.

Your answers will help direct you to the appropriate online form to complete or will refer you to the appropriate service to report the fraud.

There are caveats on what can be reported online through the NSW Police Force Community Portal. We’ve implemented a triage process at the beginning of each report, so you can be assured your report can be submitted using the portal. You will be asked the following:

Fail to Pay Triage

Do you reside in NSW or did the fail to pay incident occur in NSW?

(No / Yes)

If you select No you will receive the following message:

Please note when submitting this report you are only making a record with the NSW Police Force.

You should also consider making a report with Police in the State/Territory/Country where you or your business are located, or the location of where the goods or service were not paid for.

Alternatively, you can make a report of fraud related to cybercrime via the Australian Government, Australian Cyber Issue Reporting System (CIRS)

If you select Yes you will be asked:

What type of goods or service was not paid for?

(Select – Fuel from the picklist)

Did any occupant of the vehicle (driver or passenger) enter the shop?

(No / Yes)

If you select Yes you will receive the following message:

This incident cannot be reported online, please call Police Assistance Line on 131444, or attend your local Police station.

If you select No you will be asked:

Did any vehicle occupant attempt to pay for the fuel or leave property as security for payment?

(No / Yes)

If you select Yes you will receive the following message:

This incident cannot be reported online, please call Police Assistance Line on 131444, or attend your local Police station.

If you select No you will be asked: CONTINUE

The report will have to be completed to the best of your ability and ideally it would be best if it was completed by the actual witness of the offence. All information sought by Police in the form is critical to any investigation and everything that is recorded is taken into account. The ‘Save as Draft’ feature is located after each section of the report as you work your way through. It is important that the report of the matter is made at the earliest opportunity to maximise the chance of Police being able to identify the person who failed to pay for the fuel product. You will then be directed to complete an online form which asks you to record all the same information that would have been obtained by PoliceLink via the previously used Fail to Pay: Fuel Reporting Form.

The Community Portal provides the ability to upload a wide range of multimedia footage of offenders rather than needing to bring it to a Police Station.

Only when all the required fields have been completed can you submit the report. At that moment you are instantly provided a Community Portal Reference Number. This interim number can be used for insurance claims, or when speaking to police. PoliceLink review each submission and can accept, refuse or seek clarification from you, the service station representative.

Communication with you is an important priority to NSW Police Force. We’ve created our own messaging built right into every report (turned on by default). Once your report is accepted you will receive an official Event number via Email and/or SMS.

If you have selected ‘Reporting – Option 2’ (electing to have the matter investigated), the report will be assessed at the local police station and Police will make contact about the investigation process. When the investigation commences an officer will contact you to make a time when you will be asked to come to the station to supply a formal statement.

This site also has a number of helpful hints to assist the service station industry to protect itself from fraud and other associated crime.

For more information see; https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/frauds_and_scams/fraud_categories/fail_to_pay_for_fuel

ACAPMA