If you don’t take the right steps to keep intruders out when offering high value merchandise such as watches and jewellery, you could be leaving your business open to an attack. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that specialist retailers can take to protect your premises from thieves.

The latest annual Retail Crime Survey put together by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that the total direct cost of criminal activity against stores is now £700m a year, up from £660m the year before. Most worrying is that these figures indicate a sharp rise in violence against staff causing injury, with the number of incidents reaching six per 1000 workers, equivalent to 13 people being injured each day.

Here are some steps that you can take to improve the security of your retail premises and tackle this worrying trend;

Step 1: Risk assessment

Before investing in any security upgrade it’s worth carrying out a risk assessment so that you can identify any weak points. Unfortunately for retail business owners thieves are surprisingly adept at finding vulnerable areas and using these to gain access to the premises. Generally, the entrance door is usually highlighted because it has to allow the free movement of people into and out of the premises. Fortunately there is now an effective way of tackling this issue, which is explained in step 2 below.

Step 2: Invest in a LPS1175 approved Security Portal

Security Portals offer an enhanced level of protection against unauthorised and forced entry because they create a fully enclosed entrance barrier that only allows one person to transit through the interlock at any one time, and then only after they have presented valid credentials, or have been granted access by a member of staff.

In terms of standards, LPS1175: Issue 7 stipulates the allowable toolset and minimum time at each security rating level to prevent forcible entry through a building element. We recently became the first company to achieve LPS1175: Issue 7 for our C190-S1 to S3 and C3-S1 to S3 Security Portals (Security Ratings 1-3). They also achieve Secured by Design, the national police standard for designing out crime.

Our LPS1175-approved Security Portals are designed to provide controlled access that can withstand physical attack for prestigious building entrances like jewellery stores until intervention arrives.

Security Rating 3 (SR3) Security Portals provide resistance to determined, sustained attempts of forced entry using a range of techniques including those that involve creation of noise. Our SR3 Security Portal incorporates bullet resistant glazing – BR3/S EN1063. In addition to withstanding forced entry to LPS1175, the Security Portal prevents tailgating. This is where thieves gain entry by closely following the person in front.

The portals can be configured with day and / or night modes, allowing the unrestricted free flow of users during the day on radar or push button, and during the evening or night this could be restricted to single person transit with tailgating detection.

Step 3: Ask your insurers for guidance

Insurance firms are usually happy to work with you to help reduce the risk of break-ins and theft from your business. In terms of protecting retail premises, here’s what Lee Wallace, Senior Account Manager at T H March and Chairman of the Association of Insurance Surveyors, said:

“We encourage retailers to upgrade to LPS1175-approved products wherever possible because it hardens them against criminal attack. When assessing the overall level of risk, correctly specified security products are critical in protecting buildings and their users against crime. LPCB’s LPS1175 standard sets the bar in providing retailers with confidence in specifying physical entrance security that is able to withstand forced attack. Specifying LPS1175 products which have been independently third party tested provides confidence that the product will perform as claimed, whereas untested products may not perform as expected.”

TH March is one of the UK’s most trusted insurers and specialises in a number of sectors including jewellery and watch retail.

Step 4: Make sure it isn’t intimidating for customers

When looking to harden your premises against criminals there is always a tendency to err on the side of caution and specify an entry barrier that looks robust. Granted, it advertises to criminals the fact that you take security seriously, although it can potentially look intimidating to legitimate customers and so put them off entering your premises.

That means the challenge for high value stores such as jewellers is to identify security products, including those assessed to LPS1175, that are discrete, so as not to appear intimidating for customers, yet are able to prevent thieves that are prepared to use force. That’s why, when choosing a Security Portal, it is preferable to specify one that incorporates large glazed areas and has minimal framework because it will offer high transparency and enhanced aesthetic appeal. Fortunately our LPS1175 approved Security Portals satisfy these high aesthetic requirements.

In addition, the 1200mm wide cabin entrance on our LPS1175-approved C190 Security Portal is compliant with the UK Equality Act, making it suitable for wheelchair users. Having large glazed elements also makes it an aesthetically appealing and infinitely more secure alternative to revolving doors.

Step 5: Install CCTV, alarm systems and unique DNA identifiers

CCTV is a visual deterrent that will often put-off would-be intruders as well as capturing valuable information for police to examine should a robbery take place. They are therefore an effective complement to other physical security solutions such as LPS1175 approved Security Portals. It’s also worth investing in an alarm system to protect your retail premises and always remember to change the codes regularly.

Development of unique DNA identifiers can enable possible tracing of criminals working as part of a retailers overall security measures, although this is only after the event. When it comes to protecting your business preventing a crime in the first place is always the best policy.

With a worrying rise in the level of retail crime there is no question that jewellers need to protect their staff and merchandise from criminal attack. The simple fact is that if the reward is high enough criminals will overcome electronic security, which is why there is no substitute to having LPS1175-approved Security Portals that is supported by the other steps discussed in this blog.

Here’s what Secured by Design says about retail crime reduction strategies

Secured by Design, the national crime prevention initiative, has 30 years’ experience and expertise in improving the physical security of buildings, including premises like jewellery shops where we seek to make forced entry, and even vehicle-borne attacks, far less likely to be successful. We do this by encouraging manufacturers, of products like doors, security portals and windows, to achieve our Police Preferred Specification security standard.

This requires products to be tested independently against rigorous physical attack under United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) laboratory conditions using a variety of tools – and re-tested regularly along with inspections of the manufacturer’s production facilities to ensure that quality has been maintained over time.

All SBD member companies and their products that meet our Police Preferred Specification are listed on our website: www.securedbydesign.com

However, it is important to receive bespoke police advice because every jewellery shop and its level of risk is going to be different.

If your business is in the Metropolitan Police area, you can contact David Boughton, Flying Squad Business Crime Prevention Officer, on: david.boughton@met.police.uk

For premises outside the London area, contact one of the Police Service’s network of Designing Out Crime Officers (DOCO), who are based in police forces around the UK. To find your local DOCO visit: https://bit.ly/2OEYPF4

For more information on anti-tailgating solution from Meesons A.I. Ltd., call; 0870 787 7846, email; enquiries@meesons.com or visit; www.meesons.com.
Five Steps To Reduce Retail Crime