Wednesday, 26 June 2019
Tuesday, 14 June 2016
Updated 16 June 13:37

Double armed raid on 2 Farnham Road betting shops

Raid highlights no staff protection as employers put profits before staff lives

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

A gun-waving man raided Coral's betting shop. He was disappointed with the amount of stolen money, so he then raided nearby Ladbrokes betting shop.

More than a day later, Thames Valley Police are refusing to comment on the double armed raids by the same masked man.

Known facts

  1. On Tuesday 14 June 2016, shortly after 20:25, a single white-coloured man, masked and speaking with an English accent, entered the busy Coral betting shop at 244 Farnham Road Road, opposite the new Poundland store and near to Sainsbury's supermarket.
  2. The betting shop was filled with customers, many of whom were watching television screens showing sporting events.
  3. The gunman pointed his weapon at unprotected counter staff and demanded money.
  4. The frightened staff, at the mercy of every gunman and knife-waving thief because Coral refuses to spend a little money on basic life-saving staff protection measures, gave the gunman a small quantity of cash.
  5. The armed raider, unhappy with his loot, then calmly walked out in to Farnham Road and headed southwards to Ladbrokes betting shop at number 224, a few doors away from the sub-Post Office on the corner of Sheffield Road.
  6. The Slough Times understands the gunman was unable to steal money from Ladbrokes betting shop.

3 police cars attended, two ordinary and one with heavily armed police officers carrying deadly rapid-firing assault rifles - the type used to fight terrorists.

One ordinary police car parked on the pavement outside the Post Office at the junction of Farnham Road with Sheffield Road.

One ordinary and one Armed Response Vehicle ('ARV'), a high-powered Volvo C70, parked in the bus lay-by outside Coral's.

This armed response vehicle was clearly labelled 'Hampshire Police'.

For at least 20 years, from the time of the 1996 A34 Newbury Bypass protest, if not earlier, Thames Valley Police have actively co-operated with Hampshire Police in several highly successful major operations. Later they formed 'Joint Service Units' to promote efficiency and to save money. Joint ventures include ARVs, police dogs and Freedom of Information requests. Eventually TVP will merge with Hampshire Police under a new name, possibly 'South Central Police'.

It is thought a telephone call from staff in both shops, rather than an automatic alarm, alerted police.

Hampshire police officers wearing ear-muffles, containing earphones, holding their ready-to-fire heavy weapons patrolled the wide pavement outside the bookmakers shop. It created the impression a terrorist attack was likely.

Each Hampshire police officer carried a semi-automatic rifle, a pistol in a leg holster and a third device, slung from their waist, which looked like a teargas / smoke grenade / blast grenade launcher. They were fully equipped for, and to win, any serious confrontation.

Meanwhile the public carried-on normally; indifferent to the gun-carrying cops.

In Coral's, a police officer could be seen behind the counter kneeling down looking at what the Slough Times believes is either a safe or the CCTV monitoring screen. From a distance, the two male staff members appeared physically unhurt but are likely to have experienced psychological trauma.

It is not currently known how the gunman left the crime scene.

A source told the Slough Times the gunman's firearm was a fake.

In Ladbrokes betting shop, just like Coral's, there is absolutely nothing to protect the lowly-paid staff from gun injuries or blows from an axe or knives. It seems, profit is more important to wealthy company bosses than workers' lives and their personal safety.

The Slough Times has requested details about the raid from Thames Valley Police, Gala Coral and Ladbrokes.

Police statement : Thursday 16 June @ 10:22

Thames Valley Police, confirming no person was hurt during Tuesday evening's distressing robberies, issued this public description:-

The first incident took place at Coral bookmakers in Farnham Road at about 8.32pm.

A man approached the shop counter and handed over a piece of paper demanding to be given cash.

The man was carrying what appeared to be a small black imitation handgun which he held against his chest.

The second incident occurred at Ladbrokes bookmakers in Farnham Road at about 8.38pm.

A man approached the counter and handed over a note demanding cash.

He was seen carrying what appeared to be a small imitation handgun.

Officers believe that the same man was responsible for both incidents.

He is described as white, aged in his late 30s, about 5ft 11ins, with a medium build and short dark hair.

He was wearing a grey tracksuit top and a grey baseball cap, dark rimmed glasses and had a black/grey scarf around the bottom half of his face.

Investigating officer Det Con Teranjeet Finn based at Maidenhead police station, said:

We would like to speak to anyone who may have any information which could help us in this investigation.

Ladbrokes statement : Thursday 16 June @ 11:44

A Ladbrokes spokesperson told the Slough Times:

I'm afraid there is little we can share with you.

We are assisting our colleagues and will continue to work with police in their ongoing investigation.