After dark venues `vulnerable'

PUBS, clubs and small business open after dark have been urged to update their crime mitigation tactics with the wounds of last year's spate of winter robberies still healing.

Tasmanian Hospitality Association chief executive Steve Old said he hoped the "traumatic" spate of armed hold-ups at service stations, pubs and clubs last winter was an anomaly, but he nonetheless urged businesses to remain vigilant as the days get shorter.

"It was a it was a pretty bad patch for us, there was a fair bit of fear going around," Mr Old said.

"We have spoken to a lot of people, a lot of businesses and really pumped out information on being prepared and training your staff to handle these type of incidents.

"We don't want to turn people into heroes - we just want to make sure staff stay safe, and no- one is injured."

The Tasmanian Police Corporate performance report showed an average 13 robberies took place each month from May to August 2013, with only March and October showing similar activity.

June was particularly traumatic for service station and venue owners, with four armed robberies taking place in a single week, including the bashing of a George Town service station attendant.

Tasmania Police Detective Inspector Scott Flude said robberies were not seen as a winter-specific crime.

While 2013 figures seem an isolated trend, Mr Old said venues open after dark were still vulnerable.

"The issue is, if you are a business that is open after dark, especially if other businesses around you are closed, you become more of a target," Mr Old said.

"People like to get home from work and hibernate - there aren't many people out and about on the streets keeping an eye out for things.

"Please make sure your staff have the skills and knowledge to stay safe."

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