A 54-year-old man has been murdered whilst opening his shop, Marsh Food and Wine in Pinner, North-West London, at 6 am on Sunday 23rd of March.
Police officers were called to the scene at around 6 am but the victim was pronounced dead just 45 minutes later. A till was stolen from the shop.
Police say the incident was a ‘violent robbery that escalated, resulting in the murder of a man’. Those responsible for the robbery and murder have not yet been found and police are appealing for information.
Lone workers targeted in robberies
A fellow shopkeeper, Siva Lingham who works at a shop opposite, believes the ‘robbery must have been planned. They knew he was coming in early to do the Sunday papers. People must have been watching him and knew his routine.’
Local Councillor Normal Stevenson echoed these concerns, recognising that there are very few people around in the early morning, creating a ‘certain vulnerability’.
Unfortunately, not only are robberies and violence common across the retail sector, shops manned by lone workers are purposefully targeted as they are seen as vulnerable and easier targets.
For lone business owners who do not hire employees, the risk of theft and violence is difficult to manage. However, there are some steps that could help mitigate such risks.
- Install CCTV and alarm systems
- Work in pairs during quiet periods
- Implement a panic button or lone worker app with direct access to a monitoring station or emergency services
In the event of an armed robbery, the police offer advice on how to behave;
- Stay calm and try not to panic
- Do not take risks. Avoid sudden movements and explain any overt actions you are about to make. An armed criminal can be unpredictable and/or ruthless.
- Do not reach for pockets, handbags or activate a holdup alarm unless you are certain you can do so without being seen
- Do not ‘have a go’. Goods and cash can be replaced. Your safety and that of your colleagues and customers is paramount
- Do exactly as you are told
- Do not become involved. Avoid confrontational eye contact with the raider
- Walk away from the immediate area, but only if there are barriers between you and the offenders.