People power: Training staff to fight crime

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Feedback from the NAG’s first crime training session.

Crime is as relevant an issue to those working in a jewellery store as the Four Cs, and in reaction to a need for education in areas of security the National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) held its first Retail Security Conference in Watford in October, which NAG chief executive Michael Hoare lauded as a “smash hit with retailers”.

The conference was the first of what is expected to become an annual event geared toward tackling crime in the jewellery industry. It was designed to give jewellers a crash course in all they need to know to keep their retail store secure.

Hoare, who also co-founded the UK-wide SaferGems initiative, explains that criminals are constantly learning and evolving their techniques, and that jewellers need to up their game to keep one step ahead.

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“We wanted to give attendees a real idea of the lengths criminals will go to – and what security professionals do, day in, day out, to try and stay one step ahead,” he says. “I mentioned at the start of the day that I didn’t want to scare the bejesus out of anyone – but in some senses, that’s what the industry needs to take this issue more seriously. This event has hopefully sent some people home with grand plans of how to make their daily practices safer.”

The day included key discussions about the standard of security that jewellers should seek for certain items. The conference speakers gave detailed analysis of testing standards, timings and tools used by criminals and put to the test many preconceptions held about common security products.

A retailer that recently fell victim to crime, W Major & Sons, was in attendance. “I found the conference to be an extremely beneficial and very informative day,” says director Nicholas Major. “It was really useful to be made aware of the latest developments in crime prevention and criminal tactics.”

Major adds that a highlight of the day was a demonstration about the durability of polycarbonate glass “No matter what protection you have, burglars are always likely to find a way around it,” he says. “As jewellers we just have to focus on the time delay factor; how long we can stall them until assistance arrives.”

This article was taken from the December 2012 issue of Professional Jeweller. To read the issue online, click here.

 

 

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