Concerns rise over club staff safety

AFTER 19 robberies in clubs across Canberra in the last year, ClubsACT is calling for more police funding before a staff member or patron is seriously injured, or even killed. 

“In the past 12 months, our local clubs have been the victims of robbers 19 times, in eight instances the offenders were armed. Staff and patrons face the daily risk of being confronted by a dangerous criminal holding a taser, knife or gun,” ClubsACT chief executive Gwyn Rees says.

Mr Rees says the most recent robbery occurred last night, with thieves targeting a staff member of Raiders Weston.

“These are community clubs, places Canberrans go for a meal, to meet up with friends and families, relax and have a good time. Yet the rising crime rate is putting all this at risk,” he says.

Mr Rees says the “ACT Policing 2016-17 annual report” shows armed robberies are on the increase and only around a quarter of offenders are brought to justice.

“And our clubs are not alone, many other ACT businesses have also been the victim of armed criminals, such as local supermarkets, pharmacies and liquor stores,” he says.

“Clubs have taken all reasonable steps to keep their staff and patrons safe and deter thieves. Many of the security precautions they have implanted were devised with the advice of police.

“However, this terrifying problem persists, and we would like more funding channeled to policing in the ACT to fight this crime wave and protect Canberra citizens.”

Mr Rees says ClubsACT is seeking to hold a forum to develop initiatives to tackle this growing epidemic.

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