The High Street Shops Being Vandalised by Their Own Customers

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On the high street, when a shop front window is smashed, this is more often than not carried out by opportunistic thieves who want to get their hands on high-value goods or by mindless vandals who want to cause destruction no matter the target.

These attacks are often carried out during the night when the shop has closed and no one is around to witness the crime.

But there’s one type of shop on the high street, which isn’t being targeted specifically by thieves – but by its own customers – Bookmakers.

The cause of vandalism in bookmakers often boils down to the same reason. The vandal has placed a bet or played a betting machine, they put a large amount of money into this – perhaps even all their money and it doesn’t pay off. In anger and frustration, they take it out on the very shop where they placed their bets by smashing machines, TVs, doors, windows or even the till screens where the shop’s employees are sitting.

This seems to be a repeat problem that many bookmakers – large chains and independent chains are facing continuously across the UK.

We take a look at some notable cases where customers have turned vandals…

May 2017

In May 2017, a hammer-wielding man smashed up seven William Hill bookmakers across Liverpool in revenge attacks costing thousands of pounds.

The 29-year-old vandal destroyed betting terminals, gaming machines and televisions in shops causing £36,000 worth of damage.

The man suffered from a gambling addiction and claimed the reason for the vandalism was in protest against the betting industry.

April 2016

A disgruntled gambler caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at two separate William Hill branches in Stevenage after losing a large sum of money on gambling machines.

The 27-year-old lost a bet at the first shop which resulted in him hitting a betting machine, knocking a chair over and kicking the front door on his way out.

The man then went to the High Street branch and after losing again, pushed a betting machine over, smashed up two more with a chair, wrecked two TV screens and smashed all three windows before storming out.

February 2015

CCTV footage shows a man smashing a Coral bookmakers door after losing £80 on a gaming machine.

Staff originally approached the customer to speak to him about his rude behaviour. The man then became angry and proceeded to kick the glass pane of the shop’s door in. He tried smashing the shop front window by first kicking it, then retrieving a chair from inside to hit it with before giving up and walking off.

He caused approximately £500 worth of damage in the betting shop.

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At Window Security Solutions, we have worked with a number of bookmakers whose biggest vandalism problem lies with disgruntled customers. Continuously replacing glass in windows and doors becomes a costly affair – which is where Hammerglass comes in.

Hammerglass is a virtually unbreakable polycarbonate which has all the aesthetic features of regular glass – but is 300 times stronger! 

In fact, Hammerglass is the equivalent to Protection Level 3 – the highest safety rating for anti-burglary grilles and roller shutters AND it’s Secured by Design accredited – the National Police Crime Prevention Initiative.

Download our brochure here.

Do you have a problem with vandalism at your business? Contact our team today to find out more about our window security solutions on 0161 413 0766.

Sources: Liverpool Echo, The Comet, Irish Mirror.


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