There seems to have been an increase in reports of robberies over the past couple of weeks – taking place both in jewellery stores and from salespeople out on the road. We therefore wanted to take this opportunity to urge all of our members to remain vigilant and to thoroughly check your own security systems and protocols – especially with it being the run up to Christmas and the usual increase in shoplifting that this time of year brings.
SaferGems has released advice on security procedures as we move into the winter period. With darker morning and nights upon us, there is more need for vigilance and criminals will be likely to target premises they see have relaxed security measures. It advises that by following these simple steps, you can ensure you keep yourself, your team and your customers safe.
Travelling to and from work
- Always let someone know your location, destination and your ETA.
- Be aware of surroundings and anything that feels different.
- Keep your mobile phone fully charged.
- Avoid distractions such as listening to music or being on the phone.
- Ensure you are familiar with the area and plan your journey.
- Have your keys ready when approaching your parked vehicle.
- Make sure that your car has enough fuel and park in a well-lit area.
- When using public transport, stand in a well-lit area near other people.
- When using a taxi, usea reputable service and note the taxi registration details.
- When walking to and from work, stay in populated and well-lit areas.
Safety at work
- Entry and exit should always be via the most public opening – usually the front of the premises. At least two members of staff should be involved – one keyholder should enter to ensure the premises is safe and then give a prearranged signal to the second person that it’s safe. The signal confirms that there are no intruders lying in wait; this visual indicator should be changed frequently. During this procedure the second person should be standing clear of the premises but in a position to observe as necessary.
- If opening and closing alone is necessary, the keyholder should have a radio personal attack button that is connected to the premises’ police response alarm system. Before approaching, view the premises from a distance to ensure there is no one loitering, outside or in nearby vehicles, and that there are no signs of damage. When entering, lock the door behind and don’t turn off your alarm until you can be certain you haven’t been followed in. Complete a perimeter/area check on doors, windows, alarm and phone wires.
- Regularly ensure all doors, end-gates and safes are locked and be sure to utilise any time delay equipment. Secure all remittances immediately and efficiently. Restrict cash levels to meet immediate operational needs and avoid any confrontation with customers. When closing the premises, ensure the above procedures are followed in reverse as well as setting alarm systems according to security procedures.
Reducing theft and burglary crime
- The best way to prevent shop theft is by being attentive, and if possible, meeting and greeting customers as they enter, so potential thieves know you are watching them.
- Ensure security procedures are viewable and practise safe cash and jewellery handling.
- When meeting visiting jewellery reps, avoid showing in public areas.
- Outside of business hours, high-value items such as watches and jewellery should be removed to the safes, out of sight, and only load/unload cash outside of business hours, leaving drawers/tills empty and ajar overnight.
- Make regular visual perimeter checks including telephone and alarm wires.
- Utilise all security equipment; ensure CCTV is fully working and all alarms are set.
SaferGems is a major initiative against crime in the jewellery, antiques and fine art trades, hosted by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and funded by the retail jewellery industry through TH March Insurance Brokers and the National Association of Jewellers. It was introduced in June 2009 following concern about the increase in crime committed against the jewellery industry. It is intended to collate attacks, incidents and intelligence in relation to jewellery crime around the UK.
The SaferGems team, which has links to all the UK police forces, records details of crimes against the jewellery/pawnbroking industry, sends alerts to its members, NAJ members and those insured via TH March, co-ordinates data across police forces to improve identification and conviction of criminals, circulates images and new crime trends and assists the police in linking offences and offenders.
Please do ensure that if you are an NAJ member or TH March customer, that you receive SaferGems email alerts. You can also follow SaferGems for updates and alerts on X (formerly Twitter) @SaferGems, and can report any security concerns or suspicious behaviour to the SaferGems team directly.
The Company of Master Jewellers has a number of security specialist suppliers, including StoneHawk, TH March, Warrior Doors and Bandit UK, so please do contact them if you need any assistance or advice on optimising your security measures and training your staff to ensure they remain safe.
We hope you find this guidance helpful to keep you safe in the coming months. Do get in touch if you have any questions.