Fruit machine bandits have raided 22 Northamptonshire pubs in just five weeks

Police are warning publicans to keep their premises secure after revealing 22 venues have been hit over the past five weeks.
Police are warning publicans to keep their premises secure after revealing 22 venues have been hit over the past five weeks.

Pub owners across Northamptonshire are being urged to step up security after 22 nightspots were raided in just over a month.

Police are urging publicans to make sure their premises are as secure as possible following a series of burglaries in recent weeks.

Northamptonshire Police has issued guidance to pub owners.

Northamptonshire Police has issued guidance to pub owners.

The call comes after the force revealed 22 pubs and clubs across the county have been targeted by offenders in the last five weeks.

In each case the culprits have broken into the premises before stealing cash from the fruit machine or till.

Detective Inspector Adam Pendlebury from Northamptonshire Police CID, said: “We are investigating a series of pub and club burglaries that have taken place in the early hours of the morning, primarily targeting fruit machines but also including tills.

“The burglaries have taken place at premises across the county and mainly in rural locations, where there is little CCTV coverage and fewer potential witnesses to the crime taking place.

“We are doing all we can to find those people responsible for these incidents, including examining CCTV footage, conducting forensic tests and speaking to witnesses whenever possible.

“Earlier this week our crime prevention team met with representatives from Pubwatch to offer advice and support to members of the licensed trade, and I would urge publicans to make sure they follow as many of our crime prevention tips as possible.

“I would also appeal to people who live near pubs and clubs to remain vigilant and please call us if you see anyone acting suspiciously near licensed premises. Call 101 to report any suspicious activity, or 999 if you believe a crime is taking place.”

The force has issued a number of crime prevention tips or pub owners.

Ensure that everyone has left the premises before locking up at night. Check toilets, staff areas etc

If possible, don’t open or lock up alone. Peak times of risk for robberies are early morning when no customers are likely to be present and last thing at night when you are cashing up

Ensure all windows and doors are locked and intruder alarms set

If you have CCTV, ensure at least one camera is focussed on gaming machines

Intruder alarm and/or CCTV cameras should remotely alert Manager/DPS when they are activated so police can be called at the earliest opportunity

Keep as little of your takings on the premises as you can at one time and increase your deposits to the bank, varying the day/times you go to the bank

Review the security on all entrances and exits

Gaming machines should be emptied regularly – daily if possible

Consider purchasing a gaming machine security cabinet to protect your machine