Betting firms have been successfully operating in the UK for over 50 years, this industry employs over 40,000 people and serve around 8 million customers a year. Betting shops can be seen pretty much on every high street, most of them stay open till 10 pm and they provide customers with a wide range of sporting events to place bets on.
Just like any other industry, the betting industry is also affected by crimes against their staff; such as verbal abuse, physical assault and armed robberies. This can have a serious impact on the lives of employees, especially lone working staff in small betting shops. In order tackle this issue, the Association of British Bookmakers launched the Safe Bet Alliance(SBA), which is a voluntary code of safety and security standards for bookmakers. Implementing the measures provided in the SBA, will help to protect the customers and staff working in the betting shops, including the ones that work alone.
The SBA has been created in conjunction with Metropolitan Police, Community Union, the Institute of Conflict Management and Crimestoppers. Since its launch in 2010, the number of robberies fell by 60% in London and won the Home Office Tilley Award for Acquisitive Crime reduction.
According to the SBA, the simple implementation of the primary safety measures would help to prevent crime or a be a deterrent, for example; front door of all betting shops should be of sound construction and with locking mechanisms that meets the BSI standards, furniture within the store must be secured to the floor so it cannot be used as a weapon or as a tool to cause damage, all CCTV’s must be in good working order and capable of obtaining the right images of people leaving the premises and finally implementing cash minimisation strategies with the help of a hidden second safe.
The SBA also provide extensive safety measures for staff members that work in the store and some of these are the following:
Along with the above safety measures, the SBA also suggests that staff should be encouraged to provide excellent customer service, be vigilant at all times to prevent crime early on and report all incidents in the Incident Report Log, as the vital record of suspicious people or vehicles will help towards all investigations.