Security expert Hilaire O’Shea has founded and developed a revolutionary new security system that protects retailers from the devastating effects of smash and grab raids.

Dubbed Medusa, O’Shea’s new system encases luxury jewellery and watches in an impenetrable block of inert material – making it impossible and impractical for thieves to take them during a speedy smash and grab.

In recent weeks O’Shea demonstrated the system to industry experts gathered in London. Within 60 seconds a display cabinet fills with expanding foam making it difficult not only to break the surrounding glass, but also to carry on a moped or share between co-conspirators.


Initially developed for use in secure flight cases, Medusa has been scaled up to give all round security to stand-alone showcases and is especially effective in high value watch displays.

O’Shea comments: “The criminals – whose job it is to steal from people; who consider their crime victimless; believe it is harmless because insurance pays for the loss; and having insurance is part of doing business – they have no empathy or admiration for the passion and craft that goes into creating these works of art. They believe a suitcase full of money is the same as a watch or necklace because the price to the public is the same. But it’s not.”

Although alarms, CCTV, fogging and forensic markers have helped to ease levels of crime on the jewellery sector, £14 million worth of losses were still reported to SaferGems in 2014 alongside more violent raids.

According to a statement by O’Shea: “The fact that jewellery is easily transportable, can be recycled, or broken down into its component parts, and still represent a store of value is the biggest challenge to police and insurers. So much so that only negligible amounts of stolen goods are ever recovered. The knock-on effect is that organised crime gangs continue to use these resources to pay their subcontractors and fund more criminal enterprise. The challenge is to deny them access.

Former chief executive officer of the National Association of Goldsmiths, Michael Hoare comments: “I have seen for myself that the Medusa system is especially effective with high value watches, having witnessed a showcase attacked by an axe-wielding hooligan fill with expanded foam within seconds, and safely encapsulating the valuables within. The good news is that Medusa can be retrofitted or incorporated into bespoke cabinets, so either way your extra measures will be unobtrusive and not blight your brand with clunky design.”

It is hoped that by incorporating the Medusa logo in their shop windows retailers will offer a powerful deterrent to wannabe criminals and organised gangs.

An official statement reads: “Medusa works differently, by first blocking unauthorised access to valuables, and second by preventing their removal from the scene of the crime.

“Once activated, it does this by rapidly filling showcases with an inert expanded foam that encloses the contents in an impenetrable block of high density material. It is then impossible to either grab individual items or remove the enclosed items on foot, or typically on a motorcycle.”

You can find out more about Medusa here. 

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