After two terrifying robberies, Leeds pubs are now considering changing to a safer card only system.
By Georgia Dossis
Pubs in Leeds may become cash free after two separate break-ins in recent weeks.
At 1:30 am on Monday 4th March, three men ambushed two workers while they were emptying their bottle bins at the back entrance of Skyrack in Headingley, .
The men were armed with a knife, hammer and an axe. The burglars got into the main office. They then fled the scene in a BMW One Series hatchback. None of the staff members were hurt.
The Myrtle Tavern in Meanwood was also victim to a burglary. On the 11th February, the pub posted a statement on its Facebook page, explaining that four men had smashed through the doors before stealing their safe.
Due to safety precautions put in place, police were on the scene within three minutes and no one was hurt in this attack, though staff were shocked and upset. In order to prevent this in the future, the pubs have begun asking their customers whether they would accept a card-only system.
General Manager for Manahatta Stefan Wallace said: “I like the idea. It stops the whole potential of theft and being robbed. I would definitely consider it. We have had times where we have had to be card only, and it is nothing I would rule out.”
This precaution would make pubs and bars a lot safer and robberies may reduce. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were a recorded 1,359 robberies in Leeds between April 2017 and March 2018. This has risen by 990 and shows a rise in robberies involving a weapon.
The general manager for The Merchant, Matt Lowe also believes that, “It is a good idea, apart from the fact that older people in the market don’t use card as much so they will still need to use cash.
“It is good from a safety point of view though. I’m sure it will come at some point but it won’t be until the next few years. We would definitely consider it but with the demographics of people who come out, not everybody uses cards therefore would still pay in cash.”
The Boot in Freston was the first pub in Britain to become cashless. Although there has been some good feedback and they say it is better and safer for their business, there have also been some repercussions in terms of their older demographic facing issues with using cards to pay.
With businesses considering what would be best for their business and customers, cashless pubs could be the future for Leeds.