Landlords and licensees need to be extra vigilant when it comes to preventing crime and violent incidents over the festive party season. This time of year sees an increase in the number of criminals targeting licensed premises as well as an upsurge of potential brawls and fights due to excessive alcohol intake. This is why it is so important to have the equipment and procedures in place to protect your businesses and to avoid the possibility of being shut down.
As you will have more cash and products on the premises during the festive season, it’s even more important to ensure your CCTV cameras are functioning properly and that your staff are fully aware of all the procedures that are in place to deal with potential incidents.
Dan Hardman, Operations Manager at CCTV Wales, has come up with some top tips to help you minimise the risks and protect your pub and club from potential theft or other crimes.
Tip 1- Customer Service
Most criminals will be reluctant to be acknowledged by staff when they are sussing out a potential target venue. This is why it is so important to maintain interaction with customers and to carry out regular patrols around the premises including the washrooms. Good customer service will not only increase footfall by legitimate customers but can also put off thieves for fear of being recognised by your staff.
Tip 2- Set Limits for your Tills
Emptying the tills on a regular basis, particularly on very busy nights, is good practice in social environments. If you are subject to theft and there is not much money in the till, this can serve to put thieves off from targeting your premises another time. The same applies to any ATM or vending machines you may have installed; empty these regularly too as they are often a target by unscrupulous individuals out to find a quick buck! You should also avoid keeping loads of cash on the premises by banking regularly, no matter how safe you think your safe may be.
Tip 3- Check your Security CCTV and other Systems
You should check your security equipment regularly and, in particular, ensure that your CCTV Camera images are of good enough quality to provide photographic evidence if required. You should also check that the dates and times are correct on the images and that you have sufficient footage to cover the whole time that your premises is open.
For details on the importance of maintenance contracts for CCTV systems, check out the video below:
Most licensees and landlords will have already installed key systems and equipment such as safes, CCTV cameras and alarms. But you need to be sure that these systems, and in particular your CCTV Cameras, meet the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice that was introduced by the Home Office back in June 2013. As a result of this code of practice, police and councils are increasingly insisting upon the installation and use of CCTV systems as a condition of obtaining a licence.
Tip 4 – Intruder Alarms
In addition to your CCTV cameras, you also need to ensure that your intruder alarms are fully functional and all maintenance has been carried out according to the providers’ guidelines. For premises that are monitored remotely, carry out regular tests and ensure that the alarm monitoring company has an up to date list of key holders and emergency contact numbers.
Tip 5 – Keep an Incident Book
It’s important to keep an incident book which is updated regularly, recording any details of people behaving suspiciously, unexpected vehicles or any other incident that may occur, no matter how trivial it may seem.
Tip 6– Cashing Up
When the premises close, cash up immediately and don’t leave any cash in the tills. During this process ensure all external doors are closed and secured. Ahead of cashing up you should also ensure that all panic alarms are operating properly and are connected to your intruder alarm monitoring system. Ideally you should have at least two people on the premises at opening and closing times with one responsible for actually opening or closing the doors and the other on stand by with a mobile phone at the ready to call the police.
Tip 7 – Staff Training
Many incidents or burglaries can occur if staff have not been trained in the correct procedures and behaviours when it comes to dealing with criminals or unruly individuals. Training staff to ensure they understand and comply with security procedures should be part of your daily routine. When it comes to taking on new staff, you need to ensure all references are followed up, particularly when it comes to temporary staff, as the majority of theft in licensed premises is down to your staff! When it comes to door supervisors, arrange regular briefings as they will play an important role in dealing with incidents as well as carrying out building checks and vetting customers as they come into the premises.
Tip 8 – Contractors and Suppliers
It’s equally important to ensure that all contractors and suppliers to your premises are expected and authorised to enter. No visitors should be allowed access to staff areas unless they are authorised and checked with relevant ID verified.
If you are uncertain about any of these guidelines or if you don’t have the correct systems in place to keep your premises safe and secure, then contact the team at CCTV Wales on the number below: