The UKP Guide to Keeping Your Luxury Watches & Jewellery Safe this Festive Period

Regardless of whether it’s a ring, a luxury watch, a diamond necklace or a family heirloom, having a cherished piece of jewellery stolen is something you never want to think about.

Personal jewellery theft has been steadily on the rise in major cities throughout the U.K, with many of these robberies happening in broad daylight during the festive period.

This doesn’t mean that you can no longer wear your favourite timepiece or earrings, just that you should follow a few safety precautions that will help you be more prepared and remain a less likely target.

UK Protection Operations Manager for the Southeast, Brett Barham has put together several tips to help mitigate any risk whilst out enjoying the festive period.

Learn To Be Street Smart.

Pay attention to your surroundings. Take note of where you are and who’s around. Watch out for anything unusual before exiting your car, or walking out of a restaurant, shop, or nightclub. 

Be confident and remain alert. Walk at a steady pace with your head up, don’t look down at your phone. Thieves often target victims who appear vulnerable and distracted. Move with purpose and send the message that you are calm and confident. Always make eye contact.

Trust your instincts. On the condition that If someone or something makes you uneasy, avoid the situation or leave. Should you suspect you are being followed, head towards an area where there are many people or go into an open store or other public establishment. Don’t hesitate to call 999 if you feel threatened.  

Think ahead about what to wear. Plan what jewellery to wear based on where you are going. If it’s likely to be overly crowded, unknown, or in a potentially dangerous area, you may want to leave more expensive pieces safely at home.

Keep it hidden. Undoubtedly, busy tourist attractions are the ideal stomping ground for thieves. Everyone is distracted checking out the sites whilst they easily blend into the crowd. If you’re wearing your luxury watch or diamond ring in public, cover it, and keep it out of sight. For watches, pull your jacket sleeve down to cover it, and for a diamond ring, you might want to turn it around, so the stone isn’t visible to everyone else.

Walk with a friend. There’s always safety in numbers. Whenever possible, try to travel with others, especially at night and stay in well-lit and open areas. 

Secure Your Vehicle

Never leave jewellery unattended in your vehicle. It’s best to wear your jewellery and keep it in your care and control.

Park smart. If possible, park in a secure, manned carpark. If you must park on the street, pick a well-lit spot in a highly trafficked area. Dark parking structures can be a prime location for robberies. Always make a note of where you parked so you don’t spend unnecessary time walking around. If you have Google Maps on your smartphone, you can “drop a pin” simply by opening the app and holding your finger down on where you park. Save that location and you can use GPS to get back to your car without getting lost.

Always have your keys ready to open your car door. Don’t waste time looking for them and allowing any would-be thieves to attack you while you’re distracted. 

Inspect your vehicle. Before you enter your car, check the floorboards and back seat for anyone hiding inside. Lock your doors as soon as you get inside and leave swiftly. 

Drive to a safe place if followed. If you think you are being followed, do not go home. Go to a safe place such as a police station, business, or other populated area.

Preventing luxury watch and jewellery crime during the festive period as seen in watchpro

Remain vigilant on public transport. 

Plan your trip. Know the exact times, and locations, as well as how much you need to take with you to pay for the transportation.

Avoid sitting right next to the door. Thieves often target passengers sitting near the door because it’s easy to escape without getting caught. Sit near the driver or operator if you can.

Never fall asleep. This leaves you in a vulnerable position and an easy target. 

Be aware of noisy passengers arguing or causing a commotion. By all means this could be a staged diversion to distract you while others try to steal your valuables.

Insuring our Valuables

Undoubtedly insurance is a must!! When buying jewellery and watches always remember to hold on to the documentation, including receipts, valuations, and certificates. In the event any of it is stolen, you will be required to produce this paperwork to substantiate the claim and prove the item’s value. It’s also a good idea to take photos of expensive items from time to time and keep them safe, separate from your jewellery to illustrate your ownership.


To help combat the rise in watch crime over the years, UK Protection developed its P.R.I.S.M program. The basic premise of the team is to provide covert surveillance in and around the high-end retail areas in London’s West End. 

The P.R.I.S.M team are a highly qualified unit of covert surveillance operatives covering Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street, Knightsbridge and Mayfair. PRISM stands for Proactive, Reactive, Intelligence-Led Security Management – and while this service is currently specific to the West End, it could be replicated in other large retail centres.

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