“There’s always someone kicking off” was a newspaper headline this week, but unusually the article wasn’t about the political turmoil. It was a former shop worker referring to his spell of working in betting shops during which time he saw chairs being thrown, machines being smashed and customers biting each other’s ears off.
Coincidentally, a confidential Flying Squad file containing statistics on armed robberies across commercial premises in London was leaked to the Guardian which revealed betting shops as a “big concern” to the Police. Not surprising considering 50% of all incidents attended by the Flying Squad were to betting shops. The criminal world has shunned banks who accounted for just 17 armed robberies in favour of betting shops which had 167 incidents.
Meanwhile Westminster City Council threw the book at William Hill for allowing one of their shops in London to become a centre for drug dealing and taking, the sale of stolen goods, consumption of alcohol and anti-social behaviour. A nearby Coral shop in London was also reprimanded for disabling 999 calls from shop telephones to prevent staff calling the Police. You couldn’t make it up!
One former Flying Squad chief and a former Head of Retail Security at Ladbrokes has seen enough. Pointing to the murder and rape of shop staff at Ladbrokes he said “the industry is putting profit ahead of staff safety”.
With the former crime busting home secretary Theresa May now Prime Minister and wanting to clamp down on boardroom shenanigans, when she has finished with Philip Green, she may want to take a close look at the bookmakers, starting with Ladbrokes CEO Jim Mullen.