Stamping out jewellery store burglaries in 2021

In a recent guest column for Professional Jeweller magazine, Andy Fairbanks, CEO of UK Protection explains why it is crucial to reassess all security measures, as we wave goodbye to 2020 and head into a new year.


In this era of uncertainty and increased criminal activity, securing your jewellery store has become more critical than ever before. The year 2020 brought about unique challenges for retailers, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing businesses to adapt quickly. Unfortunately, this rapid transformation has also created opportunities for criminals, and jewellery stores have not been spared from the rising threat of burglaries and theft.


Understanding the Festive Season Risks

As the festive season approached in 2020, retailers faced the daunting task of balancing safety measures due to the pandemic with the need to generate revenue during their busiest time of the year. This delicate balance inadvertently created the perfect environment for criminals to thrive. The chaos of last-minute sales and the challenges of maintaining social distancing provided thieves with the cover they needed to target jewellery stores in busy city centres.


The Role of Situational Awareness

One of the most effective ways to deter criminal activity is by enhancing situational awareness. In the world of jewellery retail, vigilance is paramount. Staff and store owners should always be alert to potential threats. If something seems amiss, it probably is. In such cases, do not hesitate to contact the police. It’s better to be safe than sorry.


The Evolution of Criminal Focus

Bank robberies have become increasingly rare in the digital age of banking. Banks no longer hold large amounts of cash on-site, making them less appealing targets. Criminals have shifted their attention to areas where high-value, easily transportable items can be found. The watch and jewellery industry fits this description perfectly.

Millions of pounds worth of watches can be easily stashed away in a small bag. It’s far simpler to conceal £500,000 worth of watches than an equivalent amount in cash. This inherent vulnerability makes our industry exceptionally attractive to criminals.



Jewellery Store Security: A New Perspective

To combat this evolving threat, luxury watch & jewellery retailers must adopt a new perspective on security. While we are not banks, we must recognize that our workplaces are not like ordinary stores either. It’s essential to prioritize security without turning our stores into fortresses.


Here are some key considerations:

  1. Key Management: Always split the keys to your store. No single individual should have sole access. This simple measure can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

  2. Vary Your Routine: Be conscious of your surroundings when going to and leaving work. Pay attention to any signs of being followed or anything out of the ordinary. Change your route to and from work regularly to avoid being too predictable.

  3. Safety in Numbers: Avoid being alone, especially during high-risk times like opening and closing hours. Always enter and leave the store as a group. There is strength in numbers when it comes to security.



In the face of increasing threats to jewellery store security, retailers must take proactive measures to protect their businesses. By adopting a holistic approach to security and remaining vigilant at all times, we can reduce the risk of theft and burglaries in our industry.

As we step into the new year, let us remember that safety should always be a priority. By implementing these practical measures, we can ensure a safer and more secure 2021 for the luxury jewellery & watch industry.


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