Best Bar None Scotland is warning all licensed premises and supply chains that thieves are looking to exploit the COVID-19 shut down by targeting empty bars and restaurants.
Licensed venues from across Scotland were forced to close quickly when the shut down was enforced on 20 March, meaning many did not have the time to put the necessary security measures in place for their premises to lie empty.
Robert Hogg, Best Bar None Scotland’s National Coordinator said:-
“Unfortunately, thieves are looking at the COVID-19 enforced shut down as an opportunity to cash in as they know the majority of bars and restaurants are now lying empty. Therefore, we are urging all licensed premises to ensure they have the necessary security measures in place to protect themselves.”
Police Constable David MacCrimmon, SOC and Counter Terrorism Lead at Best Bar None Scotland and Scottish Business Resilience Centre, added:-
“This is a very tough time for everyone involved in the licensed trade, but thieves do not care about this and are looking to exploit the shut down. There are examples of empty bars and restaurants being targeted all over the UK, with the likes of alcohol and cash being stolen.
I would advise all licensed premises to ensure their security is tightened while premises lie empty. I would consider firming up security at rear doors, fire exits and any outside/pavement cellar access, boarding up where appropriate. Remove alcohol from view, such as spirit bottles on optics, and think about covering up or boarding up windows to obscure view. Put notices up saying ‘No Alcohol/Cash/Food stored on premises’ and look at repositioning CCTV to better cover entrances and exits.
Ensure alarms, including fire alarms, are full functioning and make sure you keep key holders lists up to date, who can be contacted in times of emergency. Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the premises/surrounding area, and also enlist the help of neighbouring businesses, asking them to report anything suspicious.”
For more information, or for more advice on how to tighten up security, please visit:- Crime prevention tips