News headlines are bristling with reports of burglaries and raids on footballers’ homes. The threat of burglary is a worry for many, especially high net worth individuals. Footballers in particular are increasingly being targeted by unscrupulous criminal gangs who have their homes and assets firmly in the sights for easy gains.
This trend is of major concern with a high number of raids being carried out on high profile footballers in the past year alone, casting the spotlight on the security measures that are in place to protect themselves, their families, their assets and their properties.
The latest abhorrent raid in March 2021 was on the home of Everton goalkeeper, Robin Olsen, who was reportedly robbed by machete-wielding thugs in his Cheshire home – and in front of his young family. (Cheshire-Live report 10th March 2021)
In February TalkSport reported that Everton Manager, Carlo Ancelotti’s home was burgled by two masked men whilst the Italian coach’s daughter was said to be alone inside.
Following reports of a long line of footballers being targeted by criminals in 2020, footballers were warned gangs are targeting them.
Some of the news headlines in 2020 include:
> Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling’s mansion targeted by burglars who preyed on celebrities – Manchester Evening News
> Bournemouth player has home burgled whilst on holiday – Fan Banter
These incidents are the latest in a surge of these types of crimes targeting high profile footballers and sporting personalities across the UK. In many cases raids occurred whilst they were way from home playing football, training or on holiday, but even more worrying is some raids happened whilst the footballers or their families were at home.
On Tuesday 20th April, this seemingly increasing crime trend affecting footballers was spotlighted in a live discussion on TalkSport radio, prompted by the recent robbery and attack on former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling and his family in Italy.
An increase in crimes is expected as lockdown eases…
The relaxation of lockdown measures in May 2020 heralded a significant jump in reported crime figures. According to UKCrime Stats post-lockdown June saw 6% increase in ‘all reported crimes’ when compared to May. This increase equates to a massive surge in crimes – almost a million, increasing from 1,548,131 in May to 1,641,780 in June 2020.
Looking at the national crime statistics in a little more depth, certain crimes like burglary, robbery, vehicle crimes and other theft indeed showed a decrease during the lockdown period March – May 2020. However, once lockdown restrictions were eased these reported crime incidents shot up again.
Total reported burglaries across the UK in 2020 reached a whopping 276,601, with robberies at 61,689 and vehicle crimes at a mammoth 343,669. It is clear that proactive security measures are crucial in protecting homes burglaries and robberies especially for those most at risk like high net worth individuals.
Here at Farsight – a leading remote alarm & CCTV monitoring station, our security monitoring team is always committed to vigilance and are prepared for another potential surge in intruder related incidents as restrictions are lifted this April. We urge all, not just footballers and sporting professionals, but all high net worth individuals to seriously to consider what security measures they have in place and ensure that they are optimised.
How can High Net Worth Individuals better protect the security of their homes, assets and people?
Many footballers live in a very visible public spotlight and this fame can have a down side too. Using the internet and social media channels, criminals nowadays can find out a great deal in preparation for crimes with published earnings, football training and match fixtures, when their targets, what cars they have, what watches they are wearing, jewellery their partners are parading and so on.
Drones or plain old Google Earth make it easy to scope properties to plan entry points and get a picture of where things are, but what happens if or when they strike?
These are many ‘go to’ security measures being publicised in the media, from specially trained guard dogs and personal security staff to panic rooms and more. However, in this article we focus on the essential ‘physical security’ measures for protecting the security of homes which include perimeter protection, access control, security lighting, CCTV security systems, fire & intruder alarms and of course remote security monitoring.
Risk Assessment – work with professionals
The first step is to make sure all the high risk areas of your home are secure by carrying out a risk assessment. Specialist security consultants or indeed security system installers can help with this process. However, it is worth pointing out that it is best to work with security professionals and systems that are SSAIB or NSI approved – which is actually a prerequisite of most insurers.
Security Systems to deter, detect and respond
As part of a multi-layered home security defence systems high net worth individuals should consider perimeters, outside areas as well as indoor protection too. Let’s look at these in a little more detail…
When talking about elite footballers’ homes, many are gated with perimeter fencing. Security sensors, beams, security lighting and CCTV cameras provide an important 1st layer of security. It is also important to control who is allowed access to the property, and this can be effectively managed with access control systems that can be controlled remotely or indeed by the occupants of the home whilst they are present.
‘Closed Site’ External security
There are a myriad of systems options to consider in ensuring that unauthorised trespassers to a ‘closed’ gated site are detected – and the intrusion can be responded to quickly and efficiently. These can include passive infra-red detectors, CCTV cameras which can also include built in detection and even thermal imaging. The important thing is that when intruder triggers an alarm from these systems is that the incident can be visually verified to ensure it is not a false alarm – proactively rather than in retrospect – and responded to quickly and efficiently.
Whichever system is in operation, what happens after an alarm is triggered is crucial. This is why choosing the right remote alarm & CCTV monitoring partner is vital.
Farsight is a leading SSAIB accredited alarm and CCTV monitoring station that protects high net worth individuals’ homes and businesses across the UK. Based in our purpose built, state-of-the art monitoring centre – The Farsight Observatory – our highly trained remote security personnel respond to alarms faster than the industry average and give our clients the peace of mind that they are at hand to react quickly in response to intrusion attempts.
Where CCTV audio warning equipment is included at installation of security equipment – Farsight’s operators are able to issue audio warnings while they have intruders firmly in their sights, which can be a very effective deterrence to stop incidents progressing further. In fact, in 2020 alone Farsight’s CCTV operators issued a whopping 119,901 audio deterrent warnings and escalated 9,950 incidents to blue light services and keyholders.
Internal security – alarms with ‘visual verification’
Fire & Intruder Alarms are an important security measure to protect the home should an intruder gain access. Bells only’ alarms generally have flashing lights and an audible alarm, but rely on the householder, neighbours or passers by to act by calling the police. However, police response is not guaranteed, especially without visual verification that a crime is actually in progress at the property.
That is why monitored alarm systems are an important choice, being monitored by professionals at an accredited Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) who can determine the cause of the alarm and escalate the incident for fast response by emergency services. The level of priority a reported incident will be given is dependant on whether a police URN is in place. This means that the details of the property are already on file with police, which speeds up the response. False alarms however can result in the loss of a URN, so protecting against false alarms is key.
The main difficulty in discerning a false alarm from a true incident is that if an operator cannot see the incident, it may rely on sequential alarms being triggered. However, with Farsight our operators can identify the source of an alarm being triggered by patrolling the CCTV cameras onsite. This obviously allows true visual verification of the incident, so the correct action can be taken.
It is now also possible to link strategically placed internal CCTV cameras to an alarm system too for added peace of mind, meaning trained security operators can react to any situation in real time and with visual verification to direct emergency services to the scene, whilst weeding out false alarms and protecting URNs. There are also privacy features to ensure that our operators can only see what you want them to see, giving you complete control of your privacy when present at the home.
Remote security monitoring with Farsight is an essential part of a multi-layered security package, see how it works in the video below:
Want to work with Farsight?
We are proud to say that Farsight’s professionalism and remote monitoring service excellence has been acknowleded acknowledged by so many of our clients and we were awarded ‘Best Security Services Provider 2020 – UK’ by Corporate Vision.
If you would like to speak to our highly experienced team to understand how we can help secure your property, assets and people – whether you are a high net worth individual or not, we’d love to talk to you. Simply call 0845 371 0101 or drop us line below: