10 tips to protect your shop against robbery

A smashed jewellers' window as a result of last summer's riot. (Getty)

Top tips from the Flying Squad’s best practice guide for jewellers.

There is a lot of fragmented information out there about what to do in the case of a robbery, so The Flying Squad has created a single authoritative guide specifically designed for the jewellery sector that is available completely free of charge.

The Flying Squad is a special division of the Metropolitan Police set up to deal with armed robberies and has been working with niche sectors to reduce crime through prevention.

The division has had considerable success so far, in particular with the bookmakers industry. After publishing a similar document to the one it has created for jewellers for bookmakers, and working with the bookmaking industry to implement the advice in the guide, robberies at bookmakers dropped 46% in the first year. Those figures have gone on to drop a further 22% in the second year of monitoring.

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Flying Squad crime prevention coordinator Mark Beale, who has worked with the jewellery sector for six years, says he has high hopes for replicating this success in the jewellery industry, as the Jewellers Personal Safety and Security Guide, which you can get from the British Jewellers’ Association or from the Flying Squad directly, is launched.

Beale says that the guide contains simple easy-to-follow advice, but believes there will be some procedures suggested in the 10-page booklet that jewellers might not have considered. “It’s all policy and procedures,” he explains. “Nobody goes into the jewellery business to have the best security on the high street and people just aren’t aware of some of the risks.”

But Beale and his team are very aware, and he shares some of his tips for robbery situations with us here.

TOP TIPS FROM THE FLYING SQUAD

  1. Arrange your window display so that passers-by can see all the way into the shop. This will deter robbers as they will realise there is more chance of them being caught in the act.
     
  2. If your shop is in a shopping centre arrange with the management to have the non-public access areas, such as loading bays and service corridors, covered by security staff.
     
  3. Consider employing an SIA-approved key holding agency to pick up and hold the keys to your shop each night. This will protect against robbers targeting staff to steal keys out of hours.
     
  4. Secure your CCTV cameras as thieves have been known to steal these on the way out.
     
  5. Reduce the reward and increase the effort for thieves. Put a limit on your display cabinets to make sure that high-value items are interspersed with lower-priced jewellery so that it would take more effort to get away with a high-value haul.
     
  6. Private consultation rooms where staff might be alone with customers should be fitted with panic buttons so that staff can raise the alarm if they face any problems.
     
  7. Do not do your banking at a set time. Robbers will look for patterns to spot potential times to target staff. If you are banking more than £5,000 at a time, consider using a cash transit service.
     
  8. Always have two people present at opening and closing times. Have one person shutting up and the second positioned away from the door but with a clear view of what is happening.
     
  9. The first staff member through the door in the morning should check to make sure nobody has gained entry to the shop overnight and is lying in wait, then signal to the second person to enter.
     
  10. Identify a rendezvous point for staff to meet in the case of an alarm going off overnight, making sure that it is away from the store so you can safely assess the situation before acting.



This article was taken from the December issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the digital version of this issue, download PDFs and share it click here. 

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