We’re now weeks on from the Hatton Garden jewellery heist and it would appear that we are no further on in even beginning to understand how it could have happened.
What stands out in my mind at this stage however, is that if the company had had monitored CCTV and movement detectors, would the gang of many been quite so successful in their attempts?
Clearly we are all looking at this from an outsider’s perspective and none of us will probably ever know the full details of what went on, so we can only assume or make educated guesses.
Let’s look at some of the key points that led to the Hatton Garden operation being so successful:
- The items stolen were highly valuable and there is a market for their dispersal
- The success of this operation would yield high profits
- There was plenty of time for them to carry out the raid
- The gang knew a lot about the building and the staff, and were able to identify a weak link to select the best time to strike
- The raid involved the use of expensive kit such as specialist drills, which would need financing
- The team had to have knowledge about the alarm system in use and which areas were covered. They had to know about climbing up/down so a level of experience must have been required
- The team will have been chosen with great care. No one can have spoken about it, otherwise police informers might have picked it up
- They will have known that this kind of burglary would attract serious interest from the Police as well as possibly the security agencies, they took evasive action to ensure they did not allow CCTV to capture faces etc
- I think that people in ANY organisation are always the weakest link because they are susceptible to manipulation and potentially blackmail
It remains to be seen whether this was an inside job. The Police, who are currently under fire for their handling of the multi-million pound theft, are now releasing information including CCTV images, pictures of inside the vault and are currently appealing to partners of drilling experts to see if they are acting unusually!
The downfall of the gang will happen eventually, most likely when someone, somewhere ‘talks’ to a friend/girlfriend/partner/wife; or the temptation of a reward becomes so great.
What is clear though is that what ever security measures were in place at the property, they hadn’t been designed with the ingenuity of a professional gang in mind. With the high value of goods on the premises, we might assume security in the building to be extremely high; however this isn’t always the case.
Many companies employ security guards, deploy alarm systems, use CCTV or access control with biometrics. All of these measures ensure that no unauthorised person is able to access somewhere they are not permitted. Needless to say we cannot plan for when this type of activity might happen; more often than not it’s planned for a time when you’d least expect it!
Both businesses and homes can protect themselves with an effective system that follows protocols to protect anything of value, with measures in place which do not neglect the obvious. The Hatton Garden example really goes to show that early investment in the right kind of security for your home or business can mean the difference between someone being able to take advantage or not!
BIPIN JOSHI MSyI
Joint Managing Direct of Shield Security Services Ltd
Contact Bipin – t: +44 (0) 1252 319 899 e: Bipin.Joshi@shieldsecurity.co.uk tweet: @BipinJ