THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Tell us here about your experiences of people committing crime to fund gambling.
Zero%RTP
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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Zero%RTP » Sat May 14, 2016 8:16 am

CCTV images of 'violent' attack in Perry Barr bookies


Police investigating an attack on two men in a bookmakers where they were punched and slashed have released CCTV images of four men they wish to trace.

The attackers followed the two victims through Birmingham City University campus in Perry Barr to the bookmakers in the One Stop shopping centre.

When the two men refused to go outside and speak to the offenders, they were assaulted.

Police described the incident on 23 March as "unprovoked and violent".

Both victims were badly bruised with one receiving a cut to his cheek and the other a knife wound to the palm of his hand, West Midlands Police said.


Police urge people who recognise the men to get in touch
Det Con Jennie Ellse, leading the investigation, urged anyone who recognises the men to contact police.

"No one deserves to be attacked in this way and we are determined to track these four men and bring them to justice," she said.

"We are keen to hear from anyone who can identify the four or may have been inside the shop at the time of the attack and who hasn't already spoken to us.

"This was an unprovoked violent attack, in broad daylight and in front of a shop full of customers."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10161478

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Zero%RTP » Sat May 14, 2016 8:18 am

Father-of-three Andrew Iacovou was killed on Saturday

A former colleague of the man murdered in the betting shop where he worked has called the killing "inevitable".

North Cheam man Andrew Iacovou was bludgeoned to death as he worked in Ladbrokes in Aberconway Road, Morden, on Saturday.

Police are hunting a suspect who they believe attacked the 55-year-old father of three from Church Hill Road with a hammer in a failed robbery.

A former Ladbrokes employee, who worked under Mr Iacovou at the shop where he was killed, has criticised the chain for allowing its staff to work alone despite regularly receiving threats.

The worker, who left the branch after two years last July, said: "It was inevitable something like this was going to happen.

"I worked there but I left because I was frightened because of all the threats of violence.

"Our area manager knew we were scared but still we regularly had to work alone.

"I was threatened on a near-daily basis. Sometimes it would be sore losers saying ‘why haven’t you paid out on this, when you come out I’m going to smash your face in’, other times it was racial abuse and all sorts.

"A lot of these people had really bad gambling habits and they were sometimes horrible.

"Andrew did his best to support staff but his hands were tied. He had his concerns, he was scared too but he had to work to support his wife and children.

"He would be in the shop for hours by himself. He was only a small guy.

"He had to manage running the shop and looking after his disabled wife and their family. He was always working.

"Everyone said they were scared to work there but if you have to earn a living then you do what you have to do."


Floral tributes have been left outside the shop where Mr Iacovou was killed

The worker, who asked not to be named, said workers would be safer if they were not alone as it would mean robbers would not be able to trick them into opening the door to the counter by claiming they needed help with one of the machines in the main area of the shop, which is what police think happened to Mr Iacovou.

Ladbrokes declined to comment on its working practices but has set up a charity fund for Mr Iacovou's family and donated £10,000 into it. So far, more than £15,000 has been donated. To give money to the fund visit JustGiving.com.


Police want to trace this blood-stained man

Officers are hunting a suspect and have released a picture of a blood-splattered man they want to speak to in connection with the incident. Anyone who sees the man is urged not to approach him as he may be dangerous but should call police on 999.

Anyone with information about the incident or who recognises the man in the picture can call the incident room at Sutton on 020 8721 4054. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

http://m.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/10452690._/

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Zero%RTP » Sat May 14, 2016 8:18 am

Police are appealing for information to six linked robberies at shops and bookmakers across Gloucestershire.

In each case the offenders threatened staff and customers with a weapon, believed to be a hammer.

The first incident (Incident 470 17/10/2014) happened on Friday 17/10/2014 at 2110 at a convenience store on London Road in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham.   Two male offenders entered the store, one of whom took hold of a member of staff and threatened to hurt him with a hammer unless staff opened the tills.  The males then made off with several hundred pounds.

The second incident happened on Monday 20/10/14 (Incident 396 20/10/2014) just before 1720 at a convenience store on the High Street in Bourton-on-the-Water.  One of the shop workers sprayed the offenders with a cleaning product and they made off empty handed.

The third incident (Incident 455 20/10/2014) happened around 1840 on the same day when two masked robbers entered a bookmakers on Mill Parade in Bishop’s Cleeve, near Cheltenham and threatened a staff member with a hammer before demanding money and made off with several hundred pounds.

The fourth incident (Incident 405 22/10/2014) happened at a bookmakers on Bath Road in Cheltenham at 1815 on Wednesday 22/10/2014.  A male offender entered the store, went behind the staff counter and took money after threatening a member of staff with a claw hammer.  He stole several hundred pounds.

The fifth incident (Incident 359 23/10/2014) happened at another bookmakes on Northway Lane in Tewkesbury on Thursday 23/10/2014 at 1745.  A male offender entered the store approached the staff counter.  He threatened the member of staff with a ‘rock hammer’, when they refused to hand over the money, he threatened a customer with the hammer. He then made off with several hundred pounds.

The sixth incident happened last night (24/10/14). A masked man wearing a grey hooded top threatened staff at a bookmakers on London Road, Cheltenham. A customer intervened and a scuffle ensued but the robber made off with several hundred pounds in the direction of Keynsham Road.

The common descriptions of the two are:  Two males height between 5’ 6” and 6’.  The taller of the males is of slighter build wearing a light grey tracksuit top with a hood over his head and grey or darker coloured ‘jogging’ trousers or similar.  The shorter male had a larger/stockier build wearing light grey coloured hooded top again over his head and jogging style bottoms.

There was believed to be a large motif or writing on the front of one of the hooded tops. Both males were wearing face masks, one of which was light grey in colour and one which was darker in colour.

Police are appealing for witnesses in relation to these incidents, particularly of the movements of the offender(s) both before and after the incidents.  They are also interested in potential vehicles that may have been sighted or acting suspiciously in nearby areas.

DC Andy Houghton, from Gloucestershire Police’s CID, said: “These are serious offences committed by individuals who show no regard for the threatening behaviour and intimidation they have caused.  We would urge people not to confront these individuals, as they are armed and would put you at risk of serious harm. However we ask that anyone with information to contact 101 quoting the respective incident number(s) or 999 in the event of an emergency.”


http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/polic ... k-robbery/

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by mick » Tue May 31, 2016 9:54 am

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... ting-shops

A long read but one which should be made by all.

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Jimmy Justice » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:56 am

This article outlines an absolute disgrace. It shows the attitude of Ladbrokes and some other bookmakers towards staff. There was massive coverage on Twitter about it nad I'm delighted to point out that we have regular contact with Guaridan journalists with aim of generating more stories.

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by mick » Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:03 am

Jimmy Justice wrote:This article outlines an absolute disgrace. It shows the attitude of Ladbrokes and some other bookmakers towards staff. There was massive coverage on Twitter about it nad I'm delighted to point out that we have regular contact with Guaridan journalists with aim of generating more stories.
Good it appears that they at least have some balls you/we have the stories so best of with the sell.Re the above one it is also our responsibility NOT to let it fade away and be forgotten as the fiddlers will wish and anticipate.

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Jimmy Justice » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:04 pm

Correct.

Zero%RTP
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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Zero%RTP » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:28 am

Betting shops odds-on favourites to be targeted by robbers, police warn

Almost 40% of all serious crime against businesses targeted betting shops last year, according to a presentation by London flying squad officers to the gambling industry.

The presentation, which has not been published but has been seen by the Guardian, is the first official indication of police concern about the vulnerability of the bookmakers’ business model, which relies on large cash transactions in lightly staffed premises.

The data is confirmation that thieves appear to see betting shops as easy, cash-rich targets. Last year high-speed, high-stakes gambling machines, which are disproportionately found in poorer parts of Britain, generated £1.7bn of revenues for bookmakers. Politicians of every party have been alarmed by the rise of the machines.

The figures also challenge the view put forward by Malcolm George, chief executive of the Association of British Bookmakers, that betting shops are the safest place to gamble.

The presentation reveals that:

Betting shops accounted for more than 200 of the 523 serious robberies against commercial properties in the capital in 2015.
Betting shops accounted for 70% of all robberies at commercial premises in London involving a firearm, being hit 167 times. Banks by comparison recorded 17 robberies at gunpoint.
The worst-hit part of the capital was Haringey, which contains prosperous Highgate and poor Tottenham, and where flying squad officers dealt with almost a robbery a week.
Of the 523 offences, the flying squad said 196 had been “detected with offenders charged”.

There is no sign of the problem improving. The flying squad – part of the Metropolitan police charged with dealing with serious violent crime – said that in the three months from December 2015 to February 2016, “betting shops remain a big concern with attacks making up almost 50% of all flying squad offences [in London and the south-east]. The majority involve a firearm and losses above £1,000.”

The document highlights how petty criminals graduate from small-scale drug dealing to street robberies before engaging in “gun-enabled commercial robbery”. In one example, a minor with a history of stealing jewellery from women in the street committed 13 armed robberies against betting shops in south London over nine months.

Experts said the presentation should be a wake-up call for the industry and warned of a “profit-before-safety” corporate culture that has emerged along with the rise of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

Campaigners say that while there has been an upward trend in crime at betting shops, bookmakers increasingly rely on single staffing in their shops, often a lone female worker, and security systems that direct staff to call central control rooms rather than the police.

Concerns have been raised since one lone worker was killed in 2013 and a second was raped last year. In court the rape victim, who had been working alone at the time, said her employer, Ladbrokes, had given her no training on what to do if a customer was losing a lot of money. The judge described the company as “negligent”.

In an interview, Barry Phillips, a former detective superintendent in the flying squad and ex-head of security and safety at Ladbrokes, said: “My concern is that the industry is putting profit ahead of staff safety. As an industry we have had a shop worker killed and horrific sexual assaults on staff.”

Barry Phillips, ex-flying squad detective superintendent and former head of Ladbrokes security and safety
Barry Phillips, ex-flying squad detective superintendent and former head of Ladbrokes security and safety: ‘My concern is that the industry is putting profit ahead of staff safety.’ Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian
Phillips said it was a “real problem” that companies had boosted their profits by cutting down on the number of staff in shops. “We have shops opening until 10pm being staffed by one person. In the industry it is known that first thing in the morning and last thing at night is the most vulnerable time for violent attacks on staff. It’s my judgment that people would be alive if that had not been the case.”

He said there needed to be greater cooperation between bookmakers and police. “We have seen that work with banks and the cash-in-transit industry. We have seen them adopt security measures and use higher standards of equipment. Working in partnership with the police, they have made the opportunities much more difficult for criminals. Whereas the betting shops are always dealing with high turnover of staff which impacts on training. Counters are not always left secure. There are issues with training [in] cash handling.
“You have staff emptying betting machines in front of customers. A robber will notice all this. FOBT machines give rise to opportunities because staff have to empty the machines to pay the punters. These are people on the minimum wage, young, who are on their own. They have to start emptying the machines, leaving counter areas open.”

Last April the government announced that bookmakers would have to put checks in place so that punters who wanted to bet more than £50 at a time would need to set up gambling accounts.

Phillips said: “When you look at the crime figures, it’s not just the robberies which are a cause for concern. The machine damage across the industry is also increasing. Also increasing is violence in the workplace and assaults on staff.”

Councils, too, have become alarmed at the rise of crime associated with betting shops, which under the law could lead to a bookmaker losing its licence to operate. Last year Westminster council in London said there was evidence that a William Hill betting shop on Harrow Road was being “used by criminals to sell drugs and possibly stolen articles”.

The council now says police are monitoring the shop. “Building on this, we have done a lot of work to regulate betting shops across the city more widely, to make them safe for residents, customers and staff. Specifically, we were the first local authority to implement tougher conditions, including a restriction on lone working in betting shops after 8pm where it was deemed appropriate,” it said.

A man plays roulette on a fixed-odds betting terminal.
A man plays roulette on a fixed-odds betting terminal. Photograph: Alamy
Adrian Parkinson, a spokesman for the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, said: “There is a clear problem with violence and criminality in betting shops, whether that is attacks on gaming machines, violence and antisocial behaviour towards staff and robberies – very often armed robberies in which staff are in direct danger.

“One of the three principles under which bookmakers operate is that of keeping crime out of gambling. Clearly they are failing in this and the regulator just defers responsibility to local licensing authorities. It’s not good enough.”

A spokesperson for the Association of British Bookmakers said: “Betting shops, like other businesses, are occasional victims of crime. That is why we took action in 2010 to create the Safe Bet Alliance, a cross-industry working group with the Met police, trade unions and betting shops. Since its creation, robbery against betting shops has halved.

“We will continue to work with the Met police, the flying squad and other agencies to ensure that it continues to fall and the perpetrators are brought to justice.”



https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... ying-squad

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Re: THE SAFEST PLACE TO GAMBLE?

Post by Zero%RTP » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:29 am

'There's always someone kicking off': the perils of being a bookmaker

Harry Vale decided to quit his job as a bookmaker the day a drunken punter forced his face between the protective bars over the betting shop counter and launched an expletive-ridden tirade over a lost bet.

It was a violent end to a two-year stint with a high street bookmaker in Birmingham, when such displays of rage and desperation became commonplace to Vale.

“There’s always someone kicking off on the machines,” Vale said. “A lot of shops are near a pub. You’re always going to get someone who has had a few drinks, lost a bet and takes it out at the machine. Everybody who works in a bookies has seen someone throw a chair or do something stupid. I’ve seen people punch the machine, spit at the machines. I’ve seen people try and wrench them from the wall. I had one guy, he poured coffee into the machine.”

Vale once arrived for a shift at one of the 12 betting shops at which he worked to discover a chilling note left by a colleague the night before: “Had to call an ambulance yesterday, customer got his ear bitten off.”

But Vale was not fazed. From dealing with aggressive teenagers who refuse to show identification to being called a “jobsworth prick” and being threatened with stabbing and vandalism, he was “used to it”.

He was once subjected to apparent racism when a customer screamed: “No, you fucking listen, you fucking white cunt,” at him.

After a fellow colleague – 55-year-old Andrew Iacovou – was murdered by a customer with a claw hammer in 2013, Vale became more sensitive to the almost-daily bouts of abuse and outbursts of aggression.

Then in 2014 he experienced the wildest confrontation to which he had ever been subjected and decided enough was enough.

“A customer, who was a regular, who had previously been OK, but he was always fairly drunk, but in control of himself, put on a really large bet and wanted to change the price after we’d taken the price, which is something we don’t do,” Vale told the Guardian.

“He was really annoyed about it, throughout the race he was giving me evil eyes, which at first I thought was just typical angry behaviour. After the race, he lost and he started screaming at me, he was angry. Luckily I had bars in front of me on my counter screen, he was putting his face through the bars. He was being super-aggressive. It was the last angry customer that made me think, ‘I don’t feel safe any more’. It’s not worth it.”

Crucially, like Iacovou, Vale was “single-manning” the branch at the time – he was alone. It is a policy for which bookmakers have faced significant criticism. The bookmaker has pledged to review the policy but any action has been delayed.

Vale said he was not equipped to deal with such violence. After six months in the role he was offered a course on how to deal with trouble customers. “They would send us memos saying ‘we don’t expect you to be psychologists’ but then we had this training on how to look after customers and spot the psychological signs that a customer is about to flip out at you,” he said. “It was weird.”

Vale ultimately decided that personal safety trumped job security and left. He now works as a freelancer, conducting delay tests on websites.

“It’s a little boring but safer than the bookies.”


https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... -bookmaker

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