Licensees warned to be alert over Christmas crime risk

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Theft Mobile phone

ALMR warning issued over  increased risk of crime
ALMR warning issued over increased risk of crime
Licensees and operators have been warned to be alert to the increased risk of crime as the Christmas period approaches.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has warned that the increased footfall and stock levels in premises offers a prime opportunity for burglaries, theft and late-night crime.

The ALMR has produced a crime reduction briefing note warning operators to ensure they have bright lighting at the front and back of the premises, keep minimal cash on the premises and cash up out of view of the street, only give keys and access codes to essential members of staff, advertise that security measures have been taken — including CCTV and alarms — and work with the police.

Champagne Charlie scam

The ALMR has also issued a warning about the ‘Champagne Charlie’ scam which a number of its members have reported. The scam involves a supposed customer ordering a large quantity of high-quality Champagne from on-licensed venues, claiming  limited supply has forced them to look outside the off-trade for stock. Orders are placed using false credit card or bank account details and retailers are left with big losses.

Vulnerable to crime

Kate Nicholls, ALMR strategic affairs director, said: “With trade picking up and operators busier than ever over Christmas it is inevitable that businesses are more vulnerable to crime.

“Higher stock levels and takings mean that some people can see pubs as a tempting target and with staff and managers rushed off their feet, they may be less vigilant and more likely to be taken in by scams. Reviewing policies and having clear briefings in place now can help prevent costly mistakes over the festive season.”

City of London Police

In anticipation of the Christmas period, the City of London Police has circulated a flyer highlighting the risk of mobile phone theft.

It warns that licensed premises are a target for mobile phone thieves in the evenings and warns operators to be vigilant.

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