Tom Brake MP backs our Safe Bet campaign and pledges to take Ladbrokes to task in Westminster

Tom Brake:

Tom Brake: "I intend to hold a meeting with Ladbrokes and the Sutton Guardian."

First published in News
Last updated
Wimbledon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Carshalton and Wallington's MP is planning to call betting shop bosses to the House of Commons to discuss our Safe Bet campaign.

The Sutton Guardian launched the SafeBet campaign in the wake of the murder of North Cheam man Andrew Iacovou at the branch of Ladbrokes he managed in Aberconway Road, Morden.

Father-of-three Mr Iacovou, 55, was working alone when he was beaten over the head with a hammer by homeless gambler Shafique Aarij in a bungled robbery May last year.

Aarij, who was jailed for a minimum of 26 years on January 13, knew Mr Iacovou would be working alone and tried to use that to his advantage when carrying out his crime.

Wimbledon Guardian: Anita and Andrew Iacovou with their sons Aryan and Rhitik

Mr Iacovou with his wife and two of his three children

Now the Sutton Guardian is calling on the gaming industry not to let Mr Iacovou die in vain and to improve safety for its workers by not letting them operate alone, improving CCTV and making sure alarms are monitored.

Our campaign has already been backed by Mr Iacovou's family and gambling charity the Campaign for Fairer Gambling as well as hundreds of readers who have signed up via www.suttonguardian.co.uk/safebet.

Now Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake has backed SafeBet and says he will work with other local MPs including Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow and Mitcham and Morden MP Siobhain McDonagh to open talks with Ladbrokes in Westminster.

Mr Brake said: "I'm very happy to throw my weight behind the campaign.

"I intend to hold a meeting with Ladbrokes and the Sutton Guardian to see if they will agree to improve safety at their premises so we can make sure to avoid a similar tragedy in future."

Aarij, who a judge described as a "cool, calm and collected" killer, took advantage of the fact that Mr Iacovou was working alone by pretending he had a problem with one of the fixed odds betting terminals in the shop.

He tried the trick the night before he killed Mr Iacovou and managed to lure Mr Iacovou from his secure area behind the counter.

Wimbledon Guardian: Shafique Aarij

Killer Shafique Aarij

When he carried out the robbery he used to moment Mr Iacovou opened the door to burst through before attacking him with the hammer. Mr Iacovou pressed the alarm but this failed to alert anyone in Ladbrokes security centre.

Ladbrokes has said it is reviewing its security measures but has no plans to increase staffing levels.

Comments (2)

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4:47pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Niki R says...

A shame he doesn't feel as strongly about Clause 118 which could give this Government the right to close St Helier Hospital without consultation with local people. Brake is actually backing that Clause, which shows his claims to be 'fighting' for our hospital to be nothing but posturing.
A shame he doesn't feel as strongly about Clause 118 which could give this Government the right to close St Helier Hospital without consultation with local people. Brake is actually backing that Clause, which shows his claims to be 'fighting' for our hospital to be nothing but posturing. Niki R
  • Score: 5

9:00pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

How about a total boycott of all Ladbrokes outlets until they give a public promise to maintain agreed minimum staffing levels, of at least two persons, at all stores, while stores are open. Better than just talking about it in Parliament.
How about a total boycott of all Ladbrokes outlets until they give a public promise to maintain agreed minimum staffing levels, of at least two persons, at all stores, while stores are open. Better than just talking about it in Parliament. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: -3

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