Machetes and beatings – it’s time reps were less blase about safety.
By David Codling, managing director, David Codling and Associates
BaselWorld in March will bring the recent run of watch and jewellery fairs to a heady conclusion. And sales agents and reps bearing new stock will be on the move again, visiting retailers across the UK.
The jewellery industry is a magnet to thieves and robbers, leading to often vicious attacks on sales agents and reps.
Recently, the husband of a sales rep was badly injured by a member of a gang wielding a Samurai sword while he was helping his wife unload her car.
In another incident thieves burst into the room of a sales agent staying in a Dublin hotel giving him a severe beating before making off with his entire stock of diamond jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Earlier that evening the agent had been showing his stock to staff in the reception area of the hotel.
While it is impossible to safeguard against every eventuality, there are some things you can do to make yourself more secure while getting on with the job.
Insist that you show your collection away from the public gaze. Ask retailers that you visit if you can use the back office to show them your samples. A sales rep was recently followed and robbed after a member of the public had seen him showing his range in the shop area.
Avoid personalised number plates on your vehicle – they will make you an easy target. Be aware and if you think you are being followed then drive straight to the nearest police station – don’t take any chances. It is not unknown for thieves to attach tracking devices to vehicles and then swiftly remove them after the robbery.
Secure sample ranges in the boot of the car, making certain they are out of sight. For extra security, you can install a tracking device in the car and an iron cage in the boot.
Never discuss what you are carrying with strangers, or invite anyone to your hotel room. It is easy to become blasé, even when carrying high-end jewellery and watches, and so making yourself vulnerable to thieves and to violent attacks.
In short, now is the time to review your security arrangements which should lead to a safer, more secure environment and help lower your insurance premium.