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As a leader in hostile vehicle mitigation, our team at Heald recognises the pressing need for robust security measures to counter the rising threat of retail crime, specifically the alarming increase in ram raids.
In this blog, our team of experts share security tips for preventing ram raids and explores the need for collaboration between local authorities and retail businesses to strengthen security measures to prevent these types of attacks.
Seasonal Demand for Enhanced Security Measures
Research shows a surge in searches for ‘anti-ram bollards’ and ‘anti-ram barriers’ during autumn and winter¹, underlining the heightened demand for added security among retailers during this time of year.
Our team discusses rising retail crime concerns with the British Independent Retailers Association’s (Bira) CEO, Andrew Goodacre: “This year, we have seen a significant increase in retail crime as it reaches epidemic levels. As shops become targets for criminals, Bira is concerned that crime levels will increase even more as we build up to the festive period.”
Impact of Ram Raids on Retailers
Recent reports indicate that a ram raid could set back a high street store anywhere between £10K to £60K. The owner of a Nisa Local shop in Cambridgeshire revealed that the £60K damage they experienced would require up to six months for repairs², leading to additional financial losses from the inability to operate as usual.
Ram raids typically aim to steal high-value items, inflicting substantial damage on the targeted businesses. The need for police to take retail crime more seriously and actively deter criminals is vital, as emphasised by retail expert Andrew.
Collaborative Security Measures
One shop in Burnham faced a £10,000 bill for repairs following a ram raid and was refused planning permission for security shutters³. This highlights that retailers and local authorities need to join forces in safeguarding high-traffic areas. Ram raids are not just a threat to businesses but also to the safety and security of our communities. By working together to implement the right perimeter protection measures, we can create a safer environment for everyone. This is an important consideration with the festive season ahead, as this generates higher footfall on our high streets.
Impacts Beyond Retail: Haulage Companies and Car Garages
Haulage companies and car garages are among the other businesses that could be affected by ram raid crime. In London and the south of England, a string of ram raids caused £1.8m in damages to various businesses?. The perpetrators used stolen Range Rovers and Land Rovers to crash into the premises repeatedly.
In 2022, we interviewed Andy Needham, the Managing Director of wholesaler Morris and Son, who experienced the theft of a £160K arctic tractor unit and trailer from their Barnsley yard. Andy noted the substantial impact of the incident on the business due to the time spent addressing the situation, repairs, and the absence of one HGV from their fleet.
The repercussions of these ram raid incidents extend far beyond financial damages. They disrupt the daily operations of businesses, causing substantial inconvenience and operational setbacks. The theft of valuable equipment or vehicles, such as the arctic tractor unit and trailer from Morris and Son, not only incurs financial losses but also demands significant time and resources for repairs and the subsequent management of the aftermath. Such disruptions can affect the overall productivity and efficiency of these businesses, amplifying the need for heightened security measures to safeguard against potential future incidents.
Tips for Preventing Ram Raids
When safeguarding retail premises against the escalating threat of ram raids, prioritising hostile vehicle mitigation should be the cornerstone of any comprehensive security strategy. The installation of purpose-designed anti-ram bollards and barriers can serve as an effective frontline defence, acting as a formidable deterrent against potential vehicular attacks.
A traffic calming measure ideal for inner cities and footways includes our Synergy Bridge Bollard System, and for protection immediately outside shop frontages, the Apex Shallow Mount Bollard would be a prime option. For wide high street protection, the revolutionary Matador Sliding Bollard is a great choice for locations where even shallow mount is impossible due to its ability to be surface mounted – this means it’s also ideal for temporary events.
Our Electro-Mechanical (EM) Matador has been installed in high street locations across the UK, including in a high-profile area of Stockton-On-Tees. The EM Matador was installed with our Architectural Paving System, which allows paving systems to be added to the Matador base enabling the system to integrate into the streetscape seamlessly.
It’s also crucial to address certain practical aspects that often go unnoticed. Adequate lighting is a simple yet powerful measure. Significantly enhancing visibility around premises, deterring potential intruders, and reducing the likelihood of incidents during darker hours. Regular security assessments and maintenance routines should not be overlooked, ensuring that existing security infrastructure remains at optimal performance levels.
Also, encouraging strong community relationships and promoting the prompt reporting of suspicious activities can contribute to an enhanced security ecosystem. Collaborating with local authorities, sharing best practices, and staying vigilant together is instrumental in deterring and addressing potential threats effectively. By combining advanced technology and community-driven efforts, we can collectively strengthen the security of our retail spaces, making them less vulnerable to such criminal activities.
The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill was also part of the King’s speech on the 7th of November, indicating that Martyn’s Law is a priority on the Westminster Government’s agenda; this is something that premises and events will have a legal responsibility to consider in the near future.
If you’re looking to protect your retail premises, get in touch with our expert today to discuss your requirements.