Security Tips Three Years on from The Hatton Garden Heist

Posted on 6th April 2018 Hatton Garden street sign.

Three years ago, a gang of crooks held one of the largest heists in British history. More than sixty safety deposit boxes, thought to be worth at least £35million, were stolen from one of the most secure facilities in the heart of London’s ‘diamond district’. Over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend in 2015, millions of pounds worth of jewellery, diamonds and cash was stolen after a gang abseiled down a lift shaft and drilled through two-metre-thick concrete walls. Since this spectacular burglary, many similar facilities have updated and improved their own security, learning from the failings of Hatton Garden’s security team and taking precautionary measures. If you’re a high-end jewellers, a distribution centre for electronic goods or a data centre, what measures can you take to ensure you’re protected from thieves? 

Guards and Alarms

One of the biggest security failings at Hatton Garden was that an intruder alarm was triggered, which was forwarded to the police, and an onsite security guard took a sweep of the building. The security guard saw no signs of a break in, and due to a recent history of false alarm activations at the building saw no need to investigate further. The false alarms also meant that the police’s monitoring system automatically flagged the call as needing “no response” on their URN (unique reference number) system. 

False alarms should be investigated, the cause of the triggering identified and rectified – not dealing with false alarms leaves a premises vulnerable, and in this case meant that a police response was not deemed necessary. Alarm systems should be regularly maintained to ensure a mandatory police response any time the alarm is activated. A CCTV system with remote controlled PTV cameras, which are triggered with movement, should cover the exterior of a building, especially all entry points. 

Entrances and Exits

One big reason the heist at Hatton Garden was so simple and successful (bar being caught!) was that the gang didn’t need to force their way in. They entered the building via another business that shares the building with the Safety Deposit Box Company and then travelled down the shared lift shaft. It is clear an insider helped the gang into the building, giving them access to the lift. 

Entry points are often the most vulnerable areas of a building, not only do these areas need to be monitored, but secure doors, barriers and security systems need to be implemented and correctly maintained. Steel security doors with reinforced sub frames, dog bolt hinges and toughened construction are a good way to start. 

Access control systems for internal doorways are ideal, with codes that are easily updated and can limit access to authorised personnel dependent on their position. Limiting access and giving personalised codes to personnel should also easily highlight any individuals trying to gain access to an area they shouldn’t. 

We supply and install a huge range of security and reinforced doorways and entrances, automated and alarmed entryways as well as our new range of barriers and gates can ensure your business is protected from criminal activity. Call 0800 0180304 or email for more information on any of our services or products. 

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