Pubs warned over pre-Christmas robberies

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Police, Surveillance, Theft

The Metropolitan Police has urged licensees to be vigilant about robbery prevention in the lead-up to Christmas.The Met’s Flying Squad co-ordinator Mark Beale said prevention should be the focus for publicans and has urged them to take action now.

He has issued guidance advising pubs to review their cashing-up policy, banking procedures and to check CCTV equipment.

“It is an unfortunate fact that, historically, at this time of year the number of robberies targeting licensed premises increases,” he said. “Good security does not have to cost a fortune. Many licensees will already have safes, alarms, CCTV and an array of other security measures in place, but still face the risk of robbery.

“Where robberies do occur, if offenders are ‘successful’ in obtaining large amounts of cash and are not arrested, there is research that suggests offenders will return to those premises.”

He said the lead-up to Christmas is a particularly important time as pubs have more cash and products on the premises, “making them an easy target”.

“It could be that they (thieves) are in the pub at lunchtime and see cash in the till and go back and check the premises that evening.”

Beale added: “Then they could choose to rob the premises the next night.”

Advice for licensees

Good customer service:​ Criminals do not like to be acknowledged by staff when going on a reconnaissance mission.
Set limits for tills​: Clearing the till frequently is good practice. Reducing the amount of cash in the till also means offenders are less likely to return on another occasion.

Check your CCTV and security equipment​:​ Check all your equipment daily and ensure your CCTV images are of
good quality.

Review banking procedures​: Bank frequently so you remove the reason for offenders to look at the premises as an attractive target.
Meet your safer neighbourhood team: These are your local police officers. Go to​ and put the pub postcode in to find their contact details. Speak to them, build up a rapport and tell them about any suspicious incidents.

Buy an incident book​:​ Keep a book to record the date and time and details of any suspicious incidents, people or vehicles.
Put out a sign​: Advertise to potential offenders the security measures the pub has in place.

Review your cashing-up policy​: During cashing-up, no external doors should be opened, even for the removal of rubbish or
staff exits.

Join Pubwatch​:​ Pubwatches are an excellent way of sharing best practice and reducing crime.

Assess opening and closing procedures​:​ Where possible, two people should be at the opening and closing of the premises. The first person should stand away from the premises with a mobile phone while the second opens the premises. This should be done in reverse for the closure of the pub.

Staff compliance​: After many robberies it is often discovered that staff have failed to comply with security procedures. Make sure that these procedures are part of your daily workload.

Related topics: Events & Occasions

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