INCIDENTS of people running off without paying for petrol or food have fallen by almost a half.
In 2009, there were 658 reports of people fleeing without payment in Portsmouth.
This figure fell 45 per cent to 392 in 2010. Figures for 2011 show 54 reports.
Making off without payment is defined as any service where the money is not given after goods or services have been received.
This includes petrol stations, not paying for a taxi and restaurants.
The figures were released by Hampshire Police following a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by The News.
But the report shows a smaller fall for Central OCU area – which covers Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Waterlooville.
In 2009, there were 260 reports, this only fell by 30 incidents last year.
A spokeswoman for Hampshire Police said: ‘We have changed some of the terms that would previously have come under making off without payment, but not many.’