Landlords across the area are being warned to stay vigilant and consider investing in extra security measures after a series of burglaries where pubs have been broken into after hours and had their fruit machine profits stolen.
Although we do not want to cause unnecessary concern, we would like to offer advice to landlords on how to protect their property as there are a number of security measures that can be taken which range from better locks and alarms to steel security cabinets that will protect the machine.
Public Houses should try and deter criminals by firstly looking at the security of the building and then secondly the security of valuable items such as fruit machines. Follow some of these simple steps to help protect your business:
· If not already present consider installing a monitored alarm system. (ensure this is to the British Standard).
· Installing a recordable CCTV system that covers entrances, exits and vulnerable areas such as the till/bar area and fruit machines will help deter criminal activity. It can play vital part in the police investigation including helping to identify offenders.
· Locate the fruit machine away from doors and position in the pub where there is most visibility. In cases where the machine is mobile consider moving it after hours, into a secure area. For example behind a locked clock room or behind shutters if present.
· If the machine is going to be kept in one place, security on the machine such as metal braces attaching it to an external wall and a British Standard close shackle padlock are recommended. Alternatively there are security cabinets or a security skirts for your machine which will provide additional security to protect it and the monies inside. Contact your machine supplier, who may be able to assist with additional machine security measures.
· Erection of signage to state the till and fruit machines are emptied daily (ensuring this is completed utilising a safe if appropriate/present and cash collecting security companies services).
· Ensure locks are suitable for purpose and are to the recommended British Standard BS 3621 (or equivalent). For further advice speak to a Master Locksmith www.locksmiths.co.uk
· Stay connected with other public houses in the area through schemes such as Pub Watch. See website for further advice www.nationalpubwatch.org.uk . Further to this Thames Valley Police operate a free communication scheme where we send out details of crimes and prevention advice. To utilise this scheme simply sign up at : www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk
· Other measures such as smoke security deactivating systems and forensic coding systems as also available.
Deterring offenders is all about reducing the pay off that they may gain from committing the criminal offence. It is also looking at slowing them down by placing barriers such as alarms, locks and other security measures in their way which will slow them down and increase the risk of being caught.
Please note if you have any information relating to these crimes that you think could assist us in our investigations please let us know on 101, alternatively you can contact us anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further advice on anything detailed or for any other information in relation to security please speak to your local Crime Prevention and Reduction Advisor on Thames Valley Police non emergency 101.
Please note - Any measures considered should be discussed with your insurance company. If your fruit machine is not owned and rather leased or hired ensure you discuss the security of it with the company who own it.