Christmas Safety Advice

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Pubs warned over pre-Christmas robberies

By Michelle Perrett, 20-Nov-2011

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.


Minutes of Pubwatch Meeting 12/10/11

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Clerkenwell Pub and Club Watch: Meeting – 12/10/2011…

There was a fantastic attendance yet again. Thanks to all…

Specialists at the meeting:

Mark Galloway – Police.

Don Stewart – Police Licensing.

Simon Gallacher – Islington Council Licensing.

Islington Police Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Martin Thorpe – Islington Street Environment.

Venues Present:



City University.

Dans Le Noir.

Slaughtered Lamb.

The Easton.


Jerusalem Tavern.


Bowler Pub.


1920 Bar.

Kurz and Lang.

The Clerkenwell pub and club watch website has been launched…  The vision is for important information to be communicated to the licensed trade and night time economy in Clerkenwell…

We will use this website to discuss issues, inform on upcoming events, internal discussions and information sharing.



Mark Galloway is the Detective Inspector in charge of violent crime.  He mentioned a shift change in the Police attitude towards Licensing.  DCI Usher is looking at the effects of licensing in Islington.  The Police are becoming more pro-active around licensing and its issues. Violent linked to alcohol is a big problem and at a recent meeting on Alcohol Related Violence Mark felt that there is no structure, in an evidential way, to dealing with the problem.  He commented that there is no real substance.  As D.I. he investigates every incident linked to a venue. First there is a crime report, which flags up the licensed premises.  This then goes onto a list.  An e-mail is then sent to the officer in charge of dealing with the crime, to find out if a) the premises are in any way responsible; b) could they have done anything differently/better to prevent incident.  The scene officer is then spoken to, as are the suspects and victims, in order to get an overall picture.  All the information is then recorded on a spreadsheet, which is used to relay the information at the alcohol related violence meeting.
It was pointed out that not all of this is negative.  This procedure will give structure to meetings and investigations.  It enables officers to look up specific premises in an instant.  The good points are that it may put injustices right. There has been positive feedback from licensees.  With proper facts and figures it will help future reviews as it will be fairer and more to the point.  The number of “Amber” venues is falling very quickly, and figures show that alcohol related violence is down in the Borough by 20% (overall violence is down 15% year on year).  Angel is no longer classes as a “red” area, and we will only see Mark in our pubs if there is a serious, violent incident.  The question was asked if the Licensee gets a copy of any report that is made.  The answer is yes, this is possible and there will also be a list of points that are agreed with the Licensee.  With figures being massively down on what was expected last year, there is a better morale amongst officers.

Don also offered his support and gave his details for contact.

Borough Pub Watch:

On the 10th of November there is a large Pub watch meeting, organised by the Council.  If you have any questions you wish to raise, please forward it asap.

Islington Council:

Simon Gallacher talked about Purple Flag and everyone’s responsibilities in Clerkenwell – good housekeeping.

He also asked for ideas about public toilets or urinals.

Cigarette Vending Machines:

It is now illegal for clubs to have vending machines. Cigarettes can only be sold over the bar.

Project Griffin:

Recent worldwide events continue to show the level to which terrorists will go to

achieve their aims with potentially devastating consequences.

With the Local Authority, and other partners, we are working to implement the

Governments Counter Terrorism programme. Two key elements to this are the Protect

and Prepare Strands. These are concerned with reducing the vulnerability of the UK

and its interests overseas, to a terrorist attack. This covers a range of issues including:

  • Crowded Places – focusing on enhancing the protective security advice

available to those who own or operate venues or places that may be vulnerable

to attack.

  • Protecting people going about their daily lives.
  • Counter Terrorism Awareness.
  • Where an attack cannot be stopped, to mitigate its impact.


On the 8th November 2011 Islington Police are holding the third of its Counter

Terrorism Awareness Days at the Assembly Rooms, Upper Street, Islington. This event,

under the name Project Griffin, seeks to advise and familiarise employees in

businesses like yours on security, counter terrorism and crime prevention issues.

Please contact me if you are interested.