Christmas security advice for pubs and licensed premises

By Steve Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Premises Crime

Pubs and bars should be extra vigilant over the Christmas period, particularly at night
Pubs and bars should be extra vigilant over the Christmas period, particularly at night
Licensees should be vigilant about crime prevention in the lead-up to Christmas. This time of year the number of criminals targeting licensed premises increases but 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 a potential incident.

Typically during the festive season pubs have more cash and products on the premises, making them an attractive target. So it’s in everyone’s best interests to take all reasonable precautions to prevent such an incident.

Here are some top tips:

Good customer service:​ Criminals do not like to be acknowledged by staff when going on a reconnaissance mission, maintain interaction and regular patrols around premises, including toilets. It can help to deter crime, and also increase footfall and service to legitimate customers.

Set limits for tills​: Skimming the tills frequently is good practice. Reducing the amount of cash in the till also means offenders are less likely to return on another occasion.

Machines: ​Arrange for any AWP, ATM or vending machines to be emptied regularly so they do not become targets.

Check your CCTV and security equipment:​ Check all your equipment daily and ensure your CCTV images are of evidential quality, all dates and times are correct and that there are sufficient supplies of discs at the premises.

Review banking procedures:​ Bank frequently so you remove the reason for offenders to look at the premises as an attractive target. Ensure that any cash in transit collections never get carried out at the same time and day each week.

Incident book:​ Keep the book up to date to record details of any suspicious incidents, people or vehicles as well as ensuring any incidents no matter how trivial are documented.

Review your cashing-up policy​: During cashing-up, no external doors should be opened, even for the removal of rubbish or staff exits, where applicable check that any panic alarms are operating and connected to your alarm receiving company

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 incidents it is discovered that staff have failed to comply with security procedures. Make sure that these procedures are part of your daily workload. Also ensure that wherever possible references are obtained for any new or temporary staff prior to allowing them to work to ensure they are who they say they are.

Door supervisors: ​Arrange regular briefings with security staff as they play an integral role in carrying out building checks, toilet checks and vetting customers as they enter the premises.

Intruder alarms/panic button: ​Check that your premises intruder alarm is in full working order and service intervals up to date. For premises that are remotely monitored, it may be worth carrying out a test for any panic alarms installed. Ensure that the alarm monitoring company has an up to date list of key holders and emergency contact numbers.

Contractors/visitors: ​Ensure that any contractors or visitors to your premises are expected and planned. No one should be permitted to be in staff areas unless they are authorised and relevant ID has been checked and verified.

Steve Williams is a night-time economy officer for Swansea City and Borough Council

Related topics Licensing law

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