Police launch Grand National crackdown on betting shop crime

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All bets are off for criminals this weekend as police warn they are working with betting shops ahead of the Grand National.

Northumbria Police has teamed up with the region's bookmakers to crack down on criminals targeting betting shops across the force area.

The force's crime prevention team are working closely with bookmakers and the Gambling Commissioner to provide support and advice to bookmakers this busy Grand National weekend.

There will also be extra attention focused on betting shops by officers to help provide reassurance and deter criminals.

Officers and bookmaker representatives work in accordance with the Safe Bet Alliance - a voluntary code to help reduce the risk of robbery, anti-social behaviour and other offences in betting shops.

The Safe Bet Alliance is endorsed by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) and will help protect bookmakers and employees from crime and help police catch offenders.

Partners involved will receive information which advises people to be vigilant,

use all existing security measures to maximum potential and minimise the amount of cash in the tills.

Detective Inspector Jane Fairlamb said: "There are already high levels of cooperation and sharing of good practice among police and the betting industry but we want to improve on these practices that keep staff and customers safe.

"This code will be kept under constant review to ensure that best practice is maintained in an ever changing environment.

"People are mistaken in thinking there are large quantities of cash lying around in bookmakers, especially during the Grand National - this is not the case.

"They already employ cash minimisation practices and time delay safes, which mean there is very little cash available in the store at any one time."

For more information about the Safe Bet Alliance or crime prevention advice follow@NorthumbriaPol #crimeprevention.