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Enhancing Security - Reflections of a Reluctant Landlady

Enhancing Security at Our Cherished Country Pubs


Often the central hub of our communities, our beloved pubs often symbolise warmth and local camaraderie. However, their welcoming nature can also make them easy targets for crime. Across our four pubs, we were often a target for crime, whether it was petty theft from staff members or break ins from seasoned criminals (see my previous blog – Taken to the Cleaners), being a public house made us vulnerable.


I sometimes think that many people think public houses are owned by the public and forget about the hardworking business owner trying to make a living.  We often would have fridges dumped in the car park, which were also used as public conveniences at times.  We had abandoned cars left in the car park, which we would then have to spend time arranging removal with the various authorities. But we were also robbed on a number of occasions.


One particular incident involved being a trio of pubs being targeted in one day by the same criminals.   The culprits, masquerading as overnight guests, exploited a change in staff shifts to execute their plan unnoticed. They calmly nipped from the restaurant to the office with a crowbar and walked away with a day safe—fortunately empty. They even greeted the staff coming on shift with a cheery ‘hello’ as they walked off. Twelve months later, we found the safe where they discarded it, in one of hedges, still locked and still empty!


The incident was put out on Crimewatch. Thanks to our vigilant CCTV setup, the entire episode was captured on camera. This footage proved instrumental in the police's investigation, leading to the apprehension and subsequent two-year imprisonment of one of the perpetrators, who the police told me was a violent hardened criminal.


The layout of the pub, a sprawling country inn with a complex, rabbit warren-like structure, inherently makes us susceptible to such threats. As business owners, it is essential that you have stringent security measures as it could have been much worse if they had been challenged.


Importance of Security Awareness


Here are my thoughts on how to make your venue safer: -


  1. Staff Training: Regular security training sessions for all staff members, emphasising the importance of vigilance and the procedure for verifying guests.

  2. Good Surveillance:  Ensure your CCTV system is fit for purpose and covers all vulnerable areas comprehensively.

  3. Community Watch: Engage with other local businesses to develop a community watch program that alerts nearby venues of suspicious activities.

  4. Security Audits: Conducting regular reviews of your security protocols and physical layout to identify and mitigate risks.


While we cherished the open-door policy that defines the spirit of our venues, ensuring the safety of our patrons and staff is paramount. Having enhanced security measures will help safeguard your premises without compromising the friendly atmosphere our great British pubs are known for.


Want to learn more from my experiences – read my other blogs by following this link.



An AI generated scene of two presenters on Crime Watch.

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