Pubs step-up security to tackle ram raiders
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
IN almost four decades, Station Hotel licensee Doug Hogan has never seen a more brazen burglary than the ram raid of his South Lismore pub's bottle shop.
NSW's longest-serving publican ? 38 years ? said he was amazed and disgusted when thieves drove a car through the shop's roller doors and stole several bottles of alcohol last Tuesday.
"They're absolute ratbags. They should be stunt drivers," he said.
"We've had plenty of break-ins over the years, but never anything like this."
It was the second Lismore pub to be hit in a week, following a ram raid on the Northern Rivers Hotel the previous Thursday in which alcohol worth $1200 was stolen.
The raids have resulted in the launch of a security awareness campaign by Lismore police crime prevention officer, Snr Const Michael Hogan. He will visit hotel owners assessing the security risks of the businesses.
"I'll be talking strategies with the business owners, and every business will have totally different strategies to make their operations safer," he said.
"We'll talk about things like closed circuit television surveillance ? both overt and covert ? back-to-base alarms and reinforcement of building structures."
But publican Doug Hogan said high-tech security systems were often too expensive for many business owners.
"We looked at employing a security guard but that was $800 a week," he said.
"I'm better off losing a few bottles of scotch occasionally than paying that."
He said he was considering installing steel bollards near the entrance of his bottleshop to prevent vehicles being driven through the building again.