The security industry’s expert testers were part of the programme and gave jewellers a crash course in keeping themselves and their shops safe. NAG chief executive officer and Jewellery Focus columnist Michael Hoare declared the event, which took place at Watford’s Building’s Research Establishment (BRE), to be a “smash hit”.
“Criminals are constantly learning – we seem to keep doing the same things, expecting different results. This is something the jewellery industry needs to change,” he said. “We wanted to give attendees a real idea of the lengths criminals will go to – and what the BRE and security professionals do, day in, day out, to try and stay one step ahead,” he said.
Nicholas Major, owner of W Major & Sons Ltd, and victim of a recent incident, said: “I found the conference to be an extremely beneficial and very informative day. It was really useful to be made aware of the latest developments in crime prevention and criminal tactics.
“If I’m honest, I wasn’t very savvy with polycarbonate glass, so I found the glass product demonstration extremely interesting. It also made me come to terms with the fact that we need to be aware that all of these security measures are essentially time delay measures.”
Although the event gave a great insight into the innovative ways jewellers can protect themselves against constantly evolving criminals, Mr Major still thinks that the industry needs to keep with the times because criminals will always catch up. “No matter what protection you have, burglars are always likely to find a way around it. As jewellers we just have to focus on the time delay factor – how long we can stall them until assistance arrives,” he said.
Michael Hoare added that the intention of the conference was not to influence people with scare tactics, but simply to make people aware of the hazards within the industry.
He said: “I mentioned at the start of the day that I didn’t want to scare the bejesus out of anyone – but in some senses, that’s what the industry needs to take this issue more seriously. This event has hopefully sent some people home with grand plans of how to make their daily practices safer.”