Service station operators have been frustrated for some time over the time it takes to report a drive off and being able to provide enough evidence of intent of not paying.
As a result, SAPOL will be changing the way in which service station operators report a drive off to a Police Officer. The current system requires a service station operator to call the SAPOL call centre who then advises the operator to fill out and send a fax. Once this fax is sent, SAPOL determines if the information given is sufficient to follow up and complete a Police Incident Report. This can result in days or weeks of call backs to the initial service station operator who made the report.
The new system to be implemented on June 1 this year will eliminate the need for a service station attendant to fill out and send a fax. Service station operators will be required to give as much information as possible in the initial phone call to SAPOL. A report will either be taken at the time, or the service station operator will be put on a call back list to take complete the operators Police Incident Report. Once that has occurred all SAPOL patrols in the area will be notified of the situation.
The success of the system relies heavily on the service station operator giving as much detail as possible about the vehicle and the person involved in the drive off. This includes:
- Recording accurately the vehicles registration number
- The type and colour of the vehicle
- Description of the person involved in the drive off
- Whether or not CCCTV footage is available
- Any extra details that can be given in regards to the situation that the service station operator deems relevant.
The more details that are available to SAPOL, the easier it is to lead to an apprehension.
Regional service stations will be required to call the same SAPOL call centre line as metropolitan service stations, rather than their local police station on 131 444.
Click here to download the new Reporting Petrol Drive Offs procedure.