Safety measures for staff working in Betting Shops

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17 March 2017
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17 March 2017, Comments 0

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:

  • Training: It’s important to provide all staff and operational managers with training that covers security practise and procedures, robbery awareness and dealing with violence in workplace.
  • Safety alarms: The SBA suggests that hold-up alarms should be installed within the store or staff members should carry discreet personal alarms like the MicroGuard from Guardian24, in order to summon urgent Police assistance when an assailant enters the store with the obvious intention of harming staff or destroying property. Trained controllers at the Alarm Receiving Centre will be able to provide assistance via the 2-way communication of the device until the police arrives, this would be a reassurance especially to lone working staff.
  • Security screens: This will act as a barrier to stop access to the cash behind the counter and it would also prevent assaults targeted towards staff.
  • Secure areas of retreat: It is often safe for staff to retreat to a secure area if a potential assailant is getting aggravated or abusive. This area must be fit for purpose with the means of outside communication.

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.

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