Walkie-talkies to tackle violence in betting shops
03 September 2008
BETTING shops have been forced to carry walkie-talkies to impose bans on frustrated gamblers who smash up machines.
The ruling for all stores in Green Lanes was brought in this week to help overworked cops deal with the violence in robberies in store.
Sergeant Ian Pyles, of Harringay’s Safer Neighbourhoods team, said at St Ann’s and Harringay area assembly: “It’s important to have communication because the main people who are banned from one shop just move on to the next one.”
“There are specific betting offices that are poorly managed and some don’t even report to us because they want to keep their crime levels down.”
The radios enable gambling shops like Corals, Ladbrokes, and the more recent Metrobet to talk directly to each other and police can deal with situations as they arise.
But while the radios control the violence, some residents believe it does not tackle the anti-social behaviour brought on by gambling, including loitering and drinking.
One man in Green Lanes, who did not want to be named, said at the meeting on Monday: “One particular office always has its front door open and doesn’t attempt to block the view from inside.”
Sergeant Pyles replied: “The fear is if they are not visible from the street they are likely to become victims of robbery.