ARCADES: Beware thieves and get insurance… says insurer

With many broke and beleagured British citizens having to holiday in the UK this year, arcades up and down the country are enjoying booming business, but an arcades insurance specialist has warned that a soar in customer numbers could leave arcades vulnerable to opportunist thieves.

David Still, from specialist leisure insurance broker Lycetts, said: “Arcade thieves tend to strike during the summer months, taking advantage of limited visibility in a crowd and staff’s attention being divided by the sudden influx of visitors.

“Often, these thieves work in packs and go from resort to resort carrying out a string of offences.  There is a level of sophistication to their crimes and they are skilled in using distraction techniques to avoid detection. It is often the case that the thieves have already fled by the time staff even realise cash has been stolen.

“Arcade owners should do everything they can to ensure they are one step ahead of would-be thieves and help protect their business against such crime.”

Slot machines and arcade consoles are particularly attractive to thieves claims Still.  Thieves can force pay-outs by tampering with the machines, for example through shorting, strimming and using devices to interfere with the internal workings. Decoys and lookouts are commonly used in this sort of crime.

Still advises that arcade owners should ensure staff are vigilant about floor checks and are constantly on the lookout for suspicious behaviour.  CCTV should be covering the gaming floor and monitors should be easy for staff to view, such as behind the counter, so they can keep an eye on gamers at all times. 

“Having dedicated security staff would help reduce the chances of being a victim of theft, as demands on staff are lessened. Machine manufacturers try to deter thieves by changing mechanisms with new designs, so a review of machines should be carried out and older models replaced where possible. 

“Floats and safes are also a target of thieves, so ensure the arcade is sufficiently staffed during float changeovers and that the money is quickly taken to a secure area.  Safes should be kept out of view of customers and emptied on a regular basis. Of course, risks can be lowered but not eliminated.  Ensure that you have appropriate insurance that offers sufficient cover should your business fall victim to thieves.

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