Aerial view of Arundel castle, a large castle at the top of a hill.

What Can Historical Site Owners Do To Stop Crime?

Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads

It’s disappointing to see regular stories in the media about priceless artefacts being stolen, historical sites getting damaged and items that should be in museums or preserved as part of our heritage, disappearing forever. It seems that heritage site security could use an update.

The latest story involves a team of thieves stealing Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads and other royal treasures from Arundel castle. (You can read more about that here)

Police are speculating that the raid, in which the beads and other valuables (worth an estimated £1 million pounds) were stolen was an ‘inside job’. The thieves seemed to have inside knowledge of the security network and were able to disable CCTV and avoid camera detection. Worse still, it seems that access was not that difficult: with a window being broken and a display case being forced open before the items were stolen. 

Which leaves us once again asking the questions: Why was security for such valuable objects so lax and how could this have been stopped? 

Who Is Behind Crimes Like these?

Property damage and thefts are usually committed by one of the following types of criminal:

Opportunistic.
The perpetrators are in the “right place at the right time” and steal or damage valuable items, usually without much, if any, forward planning. Poorly-protected items of value can prove far too enticing to people like this and risks will often outweigh the rewards for this behaviour.

Organised.
This is usually the case with any high-profile crime. Gangs will have meticulously planned and executed the heist, with the necessary equipment for the job being brought and personnel with an understanding of the task in hand being present for the theft. Security measures will be thoroughly assessed and disabled where possible and considerations are taken for every step of the heist, from entry to escape.

One way of assessing whether you’re dealing with organised criminal gangs or opportunistic thieves is to look at the items being stolen and assess how saleable they are on the open or black market. 

The type or crime in the case above is very different from the standard criminal activity you see within the general public; we’re not talking hand tools or bicycles here, we’re talking about incredibly high-profile, historically significant items that would be instantly recognised if or when they were re-sold. The art and history world is quite a close-knit community and relevant authorities would be instantly alerted to any sale of stolen goods which were part of an active investigation. 

So, we can fairly confidently say that in the case of Mary Queen of Scots rosary beads, we know the gang was organised and the sale will likely end up in the private collection of someone very rich, with very shady connections. 

So the question remains; how can this be stopped? 

Security Measures For Historical Sites Of Significance. 

Here at Safe Security Solutions, we regularly have the conversation about how surprised we are at the poor security in place when objects of high value are involved. This is a long way from the kind of technology you see in films with laser beams and tripwires protecting priceless artefacts because these security measures do not exist in reality. 

… Or do they? 

You may be surprised to learn that military-grade security technology is openly available for the UK market and we have exclusive rights to sell, provide, install or oversee its installation.

Did you know that buried intrusion detection systems which utilise the same seismic technology used to measure earthquakes were available in the UK?

A close up view of a mounted safe site security camera with ai detetection.

Were you aware of AI camera systems that can detect faces, number plates, lay invisible digital tripwires and take instant action (with live-feed notifications and pre-determined activations such as alarms, lighting and recorded messages) were not only a reality but could actually be used to replace out-dated CCTV systems? 

Did you know that fence mounted intrusion detection systems mean that perimeter fencing could be monitored 24/7, 365 days a year with technology that can pinpoint the exact area of intrusion/scaling and again, take instant action to alert security guards or provide an automated response?

Have you heard of radar-detection systems that are available for private and civilian applications?

All of the above security measures are things we can provide. The scale of the site and the restrictions that may be in place will dictate the best course of action for protection. 

So What Can We Offer Than No-one Else Can?

We specialise in providing security that is effective where other methods have failed. 

Each of our systems will work around the clock and negate environmental effects such as weather to ensure a site is thoroughly protected. In every case, we believe that instant detection and immediate action is the best route to prevention. 

Our systems will provide active protection of the perimeter of any site we’re working with; It usually takes a crossed boundary, a climbed fence or an invisible line to be crossed before any crime can take place. If you can stop a criminal before they get the chance to taken action then you eliminate the crime entirely. Like any other security company, we can provide cameras that capture footage but our CCTV systems have AI technology to allow instant action, rather than simply gathering evidence. In fact, if you’re gathering evidence then your security has already failed.

We work within whatever guidelines may be in place: Local authorities, charities or trusts may limit the systems that can be installed. There may be restrictions on digging, erecting fences or limited access to mount CCTV. In all cases, we can find an effective system that will not ruin the aesthetic but will provide complete protection. 

If you have pre-existing security measures in place then we can provide Integrated Security Software (ISS) to tie it all together and create a security system that detects and reacts instantly. Our systems will instantly notify security staff with alerts, live feeds, alarms, lighting or audio-visual deterrents for the criminals. 

Take action before a crime is committed and get in touch. We’ll arrange a site review and provide the best advice and systems on the UK market. 

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Safe Security Solutions is not your normal British security company. Our clients normally approach us to supply a full turnkey bespoke security solution where normal security systems, procedures and companies have failed

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