Almost everyone in London has by now heard about the surge in moped crime and many have been a victim or know someone who has a victim of the new terrifying level of violent attacks with acid and hammers. And it’s not just snatching mobiles and stealing scooters. Moped gangs smash windows with hammers in broad daylight and make off with valuables such as jewellery, laptops, and any goods they can grab.
Some believe that the moped crime in London is being driven in part by the ability of the felons to exploit the health and safety rules of police who have to weigh up the risks to both the public and the criminals they are chasing. Police officers have to weigh any decision they take against their first duty which is to protect the safety of the public. Knowing this, many moped gang members exploit the situation by removing their helmets, increasing their chances that the pursuing officers will call off the chase. Another factor believed to be responsible for the rise in moped crime is the depth and scale of cuts to police numbers.
Why Criminals Use Mopeds to Commit Crimes
One of the biggest reasons for using mopeds in crime is how easy it is to commit a crime and make a quick getaway. Police in pursuit of criminals on mopeds faces many challenges as these two-wheeled vehicles are able to weave through small gaps in traffic where cars can’t go, speed down narrow alleyways, and mount pavements.
London is the epicentre of this new crime wave including bike thefts, acid attacks, mobile snatches, and violent attacks on shopfront stores and businesses involving weapons such as knives and hammers. The Metropolitan Police logged 4,647 moped crimes in 2015, but from June 2016 to June 2017 this number increased to a staggering 16,158.
Security Measures to Help Prevent Moped Crime to Business Premises
We live in a society where valuable and expensive goods are displayed in plain sight to attract customers. Unfortunately, they are also in plain sight of opportunistic criminals. Nothing beats a shop front display when it comes to advertising goods. An amazing shop front showcases goods in such a way that it excites potential customers and makes the place an appealing and interesting space to enter. However, it has become obvious how easy it is for moped criminals to get their hands on any goods by gaining violent smash and grab entry and speeding away with little risk of being apprehended.
As a shop owner, you have invested a great deal of money, time, and energy in your business and it is crucial to do everything in your power to protect your livelihood, particularly since the police seem to be powerless to do much about moped crime in London. Below are some security measures you can adopt to prevent your business premises from being the next target of moped criminals:
– One of the biggest targets for moped criminals is shopfront windows. Identify the areas that are most vulnerable to smash-and-grab entry and have them made more secure. Glass is the most vulnerable point of entry and is traditionally perceived as being fragile. This makes glass shop windows and doors highly attractive to criminals. However, there are a number of security measures that business owners can use to help reduce shop-front crime:
1. Secure Shop Front Glass
Security glass can greatly reduce the likelihood of a smash-and-grab break-in. It is tougher and more durable than safety glass as it cannot be shattered. Security glass panels incorporate penetration-resistant films that prevent entry even if the glass breaks. The strong plastic interlayers are flexible enough to resist breakage from blows and the glass shards are retained by the tough film. A less expensive alternative is security laminate retro-fitted to glass windows and doors.
2. Shop Front Bollards
Many shops have opted to install metal or concrete posts to deter vehicles from penetrating shop fronts by shattering the glass. These can be set into concrete at regular intervals or more aesthetic designs can be incorporated such as concrete plant pots or ornamental concrete or metal fixtures. While bollards can prevent vehicles from smashing the glass, it does not prevent the use of hand-held weapons.
Aluminium or steel roller shutters are an excellent security measure against all attacks as they cannot be penetrated at all. Shutters can be locked to a bottom rail to improve security. They are the best way to protect your premises and can be used as highly visible advertising space after hours.
4. Door and window frames are particularly vulnerable.
Use security-rated frames to make them more resistant to breakage.
– Move high-value goods away from display windows and lock them in a safe overnight to reduce the possibility of your store being targeted.
– Don’t keep large amounts of cash on the premises and use a bolted-down time lock safe with anti-tamper sensors to trigger an alarm.
– Consult security experts for help with the latest security solutions for shop fronts.
For the best protection against moped crime, where possible, install attack-resistant laminated security glass in sturdy frames or apply a laminated film to existing glass. External shutters are highly effective and externally mounted anti-ram bollards can protect shop frontage from ram-entry.