How susceptible are you to an armed hold up?

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THow-susceptible-are-you-to-an-armed-hold-uphe main goal of operating a Club is to provide a hospitable gathering place where members and guests can have a good time, relax and unwind from their busy day to day lives.  Ensuring that you have a secure and safe environment is vital to this experience.

A simple question that should be raised when looking at your Club is, ‘How susceptible are we to an armed hold up or other security breaches?’

Imagine this scenario: you are a manager of a busy suburban Club and you are watching security cameras and see that the cashier station in your gaming room is being held up. What should your initial actions be?

A. Run out and intervene.
B. Push your duress alarm or panic button.
C. Call the police.
D. Implement emergency procedures and trust that your training in such situations is sufficient enough to ensure the safety of your staff members and clients.

With regard to the scenario detailed above, there really is no right answer. Although local police will react quickly to such an event, you are likely to be on your own for a period of time before they arrive.  Security provisions that you have in place have a direct impact on the outcomes and even the likelihood of such an event occurring.

Hopefully you will never be placed in such a situation, but crimes such as this are on the rise and have occurred at an alarming frequency over the past six months at other gaming premises just like yours.

In one incident, two men entered the drive-through bottle shop section of a Sandgate Hotel armed with what appeared to be a knife and a meat cleaver, and demanded money from a 21-year-old male staff member.

In another event in Inala, two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a firearm, entered a hotel on Freeman Road just before midnight. They made threats to the attendant and then took a till from the hotel before fleeing the scene on foot.

Thankfully no one was injured in both incidents, which occurred on November 3rd 2015. If staff had not acted correctly, these two situations could have escalated causing loss of life.

These types of events cannot be predicted, but hoping it never happens is unrealistic. A review of your venue’s security provisions should be a top priority. The following should be considered when assessing the security of your Club:

1. How secure is the venue?

  • Can persons easily enter the premise outside of business hours?
  • Can persons easily access back of house areas?
  • Are there isolated personnel, such as in external bottle shops?
  • Are safes clearly visible, do they have security provisions (time delay, drop safe etc.), are they locked when not in use, and do they have authorised access only?
  • Are ATM machines clearly visible from outside the building?
  • Are CCTV cameras in place, placed strategically, clearly visible, have good picture quality, and is there warning signage in place?
  • Are trained security personnel available?
  • Are there alarm systems such as building and duress alarms installed?
  • Is there sufficient lighting in car parks and other external areas?

2. Does the Club have security and emergency policies and procedures?
3. Are cash handling procedures developed, such as till clearance, counting or strong room procedures, and ATM filling procedures?
4. Are staff trained in security measures and procedures which have been developed?
5. Is employee due diligence undertaken?
6. Are proactive measures in place to ensure staff security when opening and closing the Club?
7. Are regular security sweeps and inspections undertaken to ensure Club safety?

If the answers to these questions are unfavourable then you are a soft target and a review of your security provisions must be undertaken so that the Club can maintain a safe environment.

It must be considered that most venues hit by this type of crime are ‘cased’ by the criminals before the ‘hit’ is made.  Making your venue a hard target will significantly decrease the likelihood of criminals risking a robbery

Having good security and emergency procedures in place will ensure that your staff will react appropriately, minimising the risk of escalation therefore ensuring the safety of both staff and patrons.

For assistance with your venue’s security and emergency procedures, please contact the team at or call 07 3878 9355.

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Anna Davey

Licencing & Research Consultant Anna has over nine years experience in the hospitality sector within a range of operational roles and specialises in liquor licensing,


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