Burglars cause 'considerable damage' to North Bar site

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Damage caused: burglars targeted Alfred pub in Leeds. Image from Google Maps.
Damage caused: burglars targeted Alfred pub in Leeds. Image from Google Maps.

Related tags: Leeds, Management

Intruders destroyed parts of a pub as they stole a safe at one of Publican Award winners North Brewing Co's arm of North Bar sites.

North Bar operations manager Richard Fiddaman told The Morning Advertiser​ police were waiting outside Alfred, one of the brewer's North Bar pubs, when its manager arrived to open up after reports of suspicious activity.

This is the second time the Leeds city centre bar has been burgled in as many months, according to Fiddaman.

"They gained entry overnight, have caused considerable damage to the structure of the building inside and outside, and they have got away with the whole of the safe, and some stock, and some equipment", said Fiddaman.

"I was on my way there anyway, and I had frantic missed calls. I was driving so I could not answer my phone.

"Given that we had been broken into a couple months ago, I assumed the worse, that Alfred had been robbed again".

£6k worth of damage

Fiddaman estimated that along with £6,000 worth of damage, money in the safe had been stolen, and the loss of earnings after being closed for two days, the bar had lost about £9,000.

"There is a hole in the internal wall that they used to help them get the safe out," he said.

"And then, they have pulled up the floor where they dragged the safe out.

"They ransacked the office, it's just a complete mess. They have broken the desks, broken computers. Then, there's damage to the front door, where they went to get it open, and the damage to the shutter that was on the front door, where they forced it open from the inside going outwards, and damage to the roof as well as they tried to gain entry."

Professional job

Fiddaman said the last time the West Yorkshire bar was robbed it appeared to be more of a "chancer", who couldn't get into the office, so stole charity boxes filled with money raised for the bar's chosen charity St Gemma's Hospice, instead.

"This time it was a much more professional job," he said.

"There does seem to be quite a high number of burglaries at the moment in Leeds. There are a lot of businesses that have been targeted."

Staff are the priority now

The operations manager added: "It's obviously a shake up to the staff, which is our main concern.

"We are providing support for the managers – who seem OK at the moment. They are obviously upset and angry at the moment, but there is that potential effect of knocked confidence – waiting for it to happen again."

Fiddaman, who praised the police for their help, is now looking at upgrading the security and CCTV around the site.

"There are a few businesses that have been robbed over the past few months, we are going to speak to them all and make sure everyone has contact numbers for each other, so that if anyone sees anything suspicious we are able take a more proactive, community approach to it as well, to try and deter anything happening again," he added.

"It is a shock to everyone, and it is a shock to our managers, so we are just trying to reiterate to them that they have our full support, and if they have concerns they can call us. We just want to continue with what we believe is a safe working environment."

West Yorkshire Police have been contacted for more information about the incident.

Related topics: Health & safety

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