Last orders for pub security
 
With British pubs closing at a rate of five a day – and prospects for any improvement seeming a long way off – pub landlords are being urged by security experts Shercurity to “Think Security” before they call time on their premises.

The doom-laden forecast for the pub industry is that another ten per cent of the 57,000 pubs in England and Wales may close over the next five years as publicans throw in the towel in the wake of the credit crunch.

Security experts at Shercurity, part of the Braintree, Essex-based Shergroup company which is the UK’s largest High Court enforcement agency are warning that pub landlords are more at risk than ever from exposure to rising debts and expensive bills for property damage unless they face up to the risks.

They stress that what is needed is an integrated response to the crisis involving security backed up with High Court enforcement to physically remove intruders from a pub and re-secure the premises.

Alan Smith of Shercurity, which, provide security guards and installs security measures to prevent commercial damage and the unwanted occupation of squatters, points out the rising level of pub closures is posing a growing risk of damage to the property, which often contains high-value fitments.

“Publicans are closing their premises, sometimes overnight, without giving enough thought to securing the building.”

“But we are urging them to think ahead and not to wait until they serve the last pints ? and then walk away.”

"Publicans like all landlords need to be pro-active in thinking about their security requirements because once squatters get into these premises, they will need legal processes to get them out – and there is a high cost to doing this.”

“It is only then that pub landlords realise they have to up their game and call in specialists like us to ensure the premises are secure once squatters are gone.”

“It is quite soul destroying for publicans, many of whom are already feeling the pinch, to discover squatters have set up shop in their premises, often damaging expensive fixtures and fittings which may have been left behind in the rush to close.”

Shercurity suggest a Pub Action Plan for publicans who may be exhausted by the combination of duty rises, recession and cut-price competition from supermarkets, and who may be thinking of calling last orders on their pubs.

Tin up all the windows – closing the windows and leaving them unprotected is not enough
Use metal sheeting for security
Secure the doors and if possible use metal security doors
Consider a permanent guard living in the premises

“These are all simple measures but they will be much more effective than, for example, just using a wooden bar across the door which can easily be crow-barred off.”

“Publicans should be looking at installing good high-quality security long before they think of shutting their pubs.”

“Leaving it to the last pint on the last night – which sadly is happening only too often – is unrealistic if they are to reduce the risk of squatters living in the premises or internal damage.”

For more information about protecting empty pubs and other commercial properties, visit www.shergroup.net

 
 
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