Home Security: Are Celebrities Safe in their Homes?

The recent burglary on the £16 million London home of Premiership footballer David Ospina is yet another example of what appears to be a continuous trend of luxury homes of high profile individuals being targeted by criminal gangs. The Arsenal star’s luxury mansion, located in one of London’s most exclusive suburbs, was raided by burglars while his supermodel wife and children were asleep upstairs.

 

Within the past few weeks, a number of high profile celebrities have been the unfortunate victims of audacious burglaries, including celebrity chef Jamie Oliver whose £7 million North London luxury mansion was raided and ransacked.  Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch is another celebrity to raise concerns over the safety and security of his wife and child following an incident of stalker harassment at their north London home.  Whilst this incident may not have been as traumatic as a burglary, it highlights the potential vulnerability of some high profile celebrities and their families.

 

Other recent incidents demonstrate that criminals are prepared to use brutal violence to achieve their aims.  Earlier this month, Geraldine Winner, widow of film director Michael Winner was taken to hospital after being beaten with an iron bar during an attack at her Knightsbridge home.  In Manchester, robbers armed with baseball bats made off with £175,000 worth of goods in a raid on the luxury mansion of Everton footballer Tom Cleverley.

 

Considerable wealth and a luxury lifestyle are some of the many trappings of celebrity status yet many celebrities fail to realise that coupled with their rise to fame is the unfortunate fact that their homes and families are under constant threat from the criminally minded. Irrespective of status and wealth, the cost of burglary can be financially burdensome as well as being emotionally and physically draining for the victims.  The psychological impact, particularly for the victims of a violent burglary can be devastating.

 

As luxury homes continue to be targeted by organised criminal gangs, the utilisation of a few basic measures can significantly reduce the threat.  Burglars tend to select homes that have little or no visible security and taking just a few basic steps can make a substantial difference. Here’s a few of the more basic considerations;

 

  • The installation of a burglar alarm that meets UK industry standards and is visible from the outside is a must.
  • Any home could be at risk if it appears to be empty, therefore leave lights, a radio or the TV on to make the property appear occupied.
  • Ensure that any valuables, including car keys are left out of sight.
  • When leaving your home, ensure that all doors and windows are locked and the burglar alarm is set, even if you’re only going out for a few minutes.
  • Put keys out of reach of letterboxes.
  • Store any high value items such as cash, jewellery or passports in a properly secured safe.
  • If leaving the property unoccupied for a few days then additional action should be taken. Consider asking a trusted friend or neighbour to visit the property to open and close curtains and use a timer device to turn the lights on at night.

 

Adopting a layered approach to protecting your property should be adopted by working from the outside in.  If sufficient measures are implemented in the grounds outside of the main building this should act as a first-line deterrent to any would-be raiders.  Basic considerations here are;

 

  • Any climbing aids such as ladders and wheelie bins should be locked away.
  • Increase the difficulty of scaling fences by fitting a trellis.
  • Ensure sheds are locked and secured to prevent tools being used to break in.
  • Consider sighting CCTV systems covering vulnerable areas.
  • Intruder lights can be extremely effective but make sure they can’t be reached or tampered with.
  • Razor wire and broken glass could potentially cause injury making the property owner liable therefore, consider using dense and prickly climbing plants.

 

When offering advice to the general public on how to protect their homes, most police forces advise against segregating their home from the surrounding streets with high walls and vegetation.  However, due to the added problem of public and press intrusion into their personal lives, celebrities often have little choice other than to surround their home with high walls.  Additional security measures must therefore be considered as once a high wall is compromised, it affords the intruder a great deal of cover from being spotted by neighbours or anyone that happens to be passing by.

 

A large proportion of luxury homes are located in secluded and semi-rural areas.  Unfortunately, this type of isolation can present a perfect target for anyone with harmful intentions.  There’s also an additional disadvantage in that police response times may be slower thus affording the intruders crucial time to break in to the property and make their getaway.

 

Relying on your local constabulary to solve the issue would be incredibly naïve.  Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police recently warned that police officers will only be dispatched to a break-in if the suspects are still at the scene. However, if someone returns to find their home has been ransacked and the perpetrators have fled, the victims will not be treated as priority.

 

It’s been well publicised that police forces throughout the country are drastically overstretched.  A number of high profile and high net worth individuals are turning to the private security sector to patrol and safeguard their homes.  Hiring a reputable security firm such as London based company Intrepid Risk Management can prove to be a sound investment as it provides a robust 24/7 round-the-clock presence without intruding on the lifestyle of the homeowner.

 

The financial and emotional impact of burglary is undeniably a harrowing and traumatic experience for the victims, no matter who they are.  Prevention is surely better than cure.

 

Ed Hill MA FdA

www.intrepid-risk.com

 

 

 

Superyacht Security in Yacht Investor Magazine

Superyacht security is an important aspect of ownership that is often overlooked by the owners of luxury yachts.  In recent years, some yachts have been the victim of violent criminal attacks.  From piracy to terrorism, these threats should not be taken lightly.  However, as Ed Hill explains in this article for Yacht Investor magazine, these threats can be significantly reduced if managed correctly.

To read the article… CLICK HERE

The Russian Party at the 2015 Monaco Yacht Show

Intrepid Risk Management was delighted to be invited as one of the co-sponsors of the Russian Party at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show.  Hosted by London law firm Bargate Murray, the event symbolises the strong connections with the yachting industry and our Russian clientele.

 

Held at Le Before Bar on Monaco’s Route de la Piscine, the event was attended by a eclectic range of international representatives from within the superyacht industry.  The plentiful supply of sumptuous food and drinks served amidst a warm, friendly ambience ensured that a great time was had by all.

 

As co-sponsors and providers of the evening’s concierge service, Intrepid Risk Management would like to thank our hosts Bargate Murray, our fellow co-sponsors Lumotics Marine, Watkins Superyachts, Daria Piletskaya (artist), itBoat, Yachts Russia, Yacht Investor, Vaara, Russian Sturgeon, Wista Russia, Russian Roulette, Robert Allen Law, Rosgosstrakh and all of the staff at Le Before Bar Monaco for a truly fantastic evening, we look forward to seeing you all again next year!

 

Meet us at the Monaco Yacht Show 2015

Set in the iconic Port Hercules of the Principality of Monaco since 1991, the MYS is the only place to admire, visit and purchase around 120 extraordinary one-off superyachts built by the world’s most respected shipyards. 40 new launches are unveiled in world premiere for every edition.

On docks, the MYS exhibits 500 world leading luxury yachting companies, amongst which the trendiest superyacht builders, yacht designers, luxury manufacturers and the most important brokerage houses.

The Monaco Yacht Show is the one and only occasion in the year – and in the world – to discover the greatest of superyachting in the glamorous setting of Monaco.

The Show has the privilege of benefiting from the recognition and the support of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Tunisia Superyacht Security Report – September 2015

As the Mediterranean yachting season draws to a close, a number of superyachts plan to make the short trip across the Mediterranean to Tunisia.  A number of well publicised events has led to security concerns for superyachts intending to visit the country.  In response to the concerns of our superyacht clients, Intrepid Risk Management has produced the following report.  To read the report… CLICK HERE

ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System

Intrepid Risk Management has successfully undergone a stringent third-party audit process to maintain its compliance with the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System.  This demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the best possible service to our growing list of valued clients.

ISO 9001:2008 certification is used by both customers and companies as a method of controlling their quality.  The Standard provides a framework to manage a business and ensure a philosophy of continual improvement in all aspects of the business.  It is externally assessed on an ongoing basis to ensure these business practices are maintained.  Some of the principles of ISO 9001:2008 are:

Customer Focus – organisations depend on their customers and therefore need to shape activities around the fulfilment of market need.

Leadership – needed to provide unity of purpose and direction.

Involvement of Personnel – creates an environment where people become fully involved in achieving the organisation’s objectives

Process Approach – to achieve organisational objectives, resources and activities need to be managed as processes, with an understanding of how the outputs of one process affect the inputs of another.

System Approach to Management – the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation depends on a systemised approach to work activities.

Continual Improvement – adopting this as a part of everyday culture is a key objective for any organisation.

Fact Based Decision-Making – effective decisions are based on the logical and intuitive analysis of data and factual information.

Mutually Beneficial Supplier Relationships – such relationships will enhance the ability to create value.

Some of the benefits to our customers:

  • Improved quality and service.
  • Delivery on time.
  • Right first time attitude.
  • Fewer returned products and complaints.
  • Independent audit demonstrates commitment to quality.

 

Safe and Secure in the Med?

The Mediterranean Sea is a summer playground, but with more unrest along it’s southern and eastern coats, what dangers lie ahead for superyachts?  Ed Hill was asked to share his expertise for this article.

To read the article … CLICK HERE

Intrepid Joins the British Bodyguard Association

In a move designed to enhance its reputational credibility, Intrepid Risk Management has been accepted by the British Bodyguard Association (BBA) to join the organisation as a Corporate Member.  The BBA was formed in 2008 during a period of unprecedented growth in the bodyguard / close protection industry with the aim of setting a high benchmark of quality and providing ongoing support to its members.

 

The Close Protection industry is a vibrant and continually evolving sector that has grown considerably over the past few years.  The role of the Close Protection Officer is a demanding one that requires high levels of dedication beyond those required of most other professions.  Consequently, the BBA has set its own high professional standards of which its members must both achieve and uphold.

 

Jon Moss of the BBA said, “We’re delighted to welcome Intrepid to the BBA, they bring with them a wealth of experience particularly in the maritime and superyacht security sectors.”

 

Ed Hill, Managing Director of Intrepid Risk Management stated, “The British Bodyguard Association is an upstanding organisation that brings a whole range of benefits to the industry and to its members.  Joining the BBA has not only increased the credibility of the company, it has given us access to some of the best close protection operators in the industry”.

Indian Ocean and Somali Piracy by Ed Hill

To read the article Indian Ocean and Somali Piracy by Ed Hill… CLICK HERE