Jason Towse, managing director of Mitie’s Total Security Management business, reflects on the business reaction to one of Britain’s biggest thefts.
“The recent Hatton Garden robbery has left everyone with questions as to how such an audacious heist could have taken place.
“The timing and bypassing of the reinforced metal door points to a professional gang of robbers – with many concluding they must have had inside knowledge.
“Yet for many business owners the biggest concern is that an intruder alarm went off but the Metropolitan Police didn’t react.
“Some are speculating: does this mean business crime isn’t a priority for the police?
“Everyone knows that police budgets are under pressure, with forces across the country facing a 5% cut in government funding for 2015/16, but if guarding a vault in a major business district isn’t a priority then this is concerning for all businesses.
“From my own anecdotal conversations from clients I know some businesses feel the police cannot support them as they once used to.
“Whilst no-one wants to see fewer police on our streets, the private security industry can and does have a role to play in supporting businesses via a multi-layered approach that incorporates crime reduction and prosecution.
“Indeed, the BSIA recently wrote about the private sector having a significant role to play in assisting police forces across the UK as they are tasked with making efficiency savings.
“Stuart Lodge also wrote of businesses having a plan B as a result of a major incident such as the Hatton garden robbery.
“One way the private sector can help is through its technology linked to the police.
“We recently announced a strategic partnership with Facewatch, the online crime reporting and networking service.
“Via Mitec, our technology hub, we will take control of the entire crime reporting process enabling analysts to review CCTV footage, prepare incident reports, and develop evidential packs in line with Police and CPS guidelines so these can be used to support prosecutions.
“This will add huge value to our clients by enabling them to report crime with CCTV evidence; and to share offender images and intelligence with other businesses within secure groups.
“Looking at reported trends in crime and incidents can also prove useful. When we combine police statistics with our own incident data and map it against location and sector we are able to advise businesses on hotspots and areas where extra resource or vigilance is needed.
“These trends are then shared with our clients to highlight increases in risk.
“In short, we are using technology to help our client’s better monitor their businesses and respond to incidents with police support.
“Nothing can prevent a determined gang of thieves with inside knowledge.
“But through effective crime prevention and monitoring businesses can help the police respond far more quickly than they did in Hatton Garden.
“In turn, this means crimes can be solved quicker, prosecutions secured, and stolen goods recovered to individuals and businesses.”
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