TOP FIVE: How jewellers can protect their shops from smash and grab raids

With smash and grab raids and moped attacks on jewellery stores on the rise in the UK, security experts have lifted the lid and provided a tick list for jewellers to protect staff and stock.

1. “What can’t be seen can’t be stolen”

Bandit’s sales and marketing director, Neil Christmas, told Professional Jeweller that creating a visual block for perpetrators is a vital part in preventing raids. His view is that: 1. “What can’t be seen can’t be stolen.”

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He explains: “Daytime robbery deterrent is achieved by deploying a short controlled activation to create a fog curtain between the raider and the staff and/or goods.

As well as addressing daytime smash and grab attacks, Christmas adds that obscuring line of sight is an important aspect to consider when considering how to avoid night thefts.

“Overnight protection is achieved via a longer activation filling the entire area with impenetrable fog where valuable stock, equipment and other contents can be obscured from sight, thus protecting them from the possibility of theft or damage, until the authorities arrive,” Christmas concluded.

2. Train staff in personal security awareness

While it is worth implementing systems that prevent an attack happening in the first place, it is equally as important to prepare staff in what to do should a daytime burglary take place.

For owner Fox Surveillance and Security Solutions Ltd, Joel Adlington, staff are vital line of defence.

“Being employed in the high value goods trade, particularly in jewellery, carries an automatic threat and educating staff on how to live their lives safely with their families,” explained Adlington. “By taking small measures not only keeps them safe from harm but also increases the security capability of your store without any increase in profile.

“No criminal is going to conduct a raid against a store where the potential of being caught is too high and vigilant staff protect against this threat against stores, and equally importantly against themselves.”

3. Create information networks

By always being aware of local activity and suspicious activity, jewellers are able to prepare and take themselves off the back foot, according to managing director of Warrior Doors, Brett Barratt.

In order to monitor robberies Barratt suggests jewellers set up and regularly make use of digital networks.

He explained: “Jewellers can be vigilant in many ways, including making use of networks of information such as Safer Gems and WhatsApp groups. Safer Gems is a TH Marsh initiative and provides alerts and early warnings of suspicious activities and robberies.

“We’ve spoken to a number of jewellery shop owners who have created WhatsApp groups between local jewellers where if one sees something

suspicious they send out an instant message to the group providing real time, local warning at the earliest possible sign of threat.”

4. Carry out regular drills

Much like Adlington, Stonehawk’s managing director Simon Wilson believes that staff provide an integral line of defence and should be fully trained for the event of a raid. As experts in training, Wilson advises that regular drills are carried out so staff are always prepared.

“No one knows when a smash and grab will take place, by conducting regular drills with all your staff, will ensure that they have an active template in mind,” said Wilson.

“This will become second nature in the event of a fast moving smash and grab, and your acknowledged risks of staff injury, stock loss, absenteeism and trauma will be significantly reduced.

“Work with your security team to structure the drills, as they are a staff member and often good friends to the showroom staff… they are certainly a vital part of your daily operation.”

5. Address every layer of defence

With so many areas to consider in order to protect staff and stock, Warrior Doors’ Brett Barratt advises jewellers to be covered across the board.

Jewellery retailers shouldn’t rely on one line of defence, they are encouraged to train staff as well as install security measures to protect the business against day and night time attacks.

Barratt concluded: “Jewellers need to ensure they have adequate primary, physical security layers in place which are able to withstand the criminal’s choice of tools and equipment.”

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