Security is about protecting the things that are important to you. Most people know this. What matters is how you do your security. It is fairly well understood that if you have important or valuable assets on your premises, you need to lock the doors and windows.

What is less understood is the lengths to which criminals (especially organised crime) will go when it comes to getting access to your assets. The fact of live is that if your assets are valuable enough, criminals will want to get at them. This leads to what is effectively an arms race between your security measures and the tactics the criminals will use to bypass them.

From the Irish Times:

THE FAVOURED quick-fix money-making exercise of the average Irish organised crime gang had, for decades, been bank robberies. But a massive investment by banks in branch security has made the traditional armed hold-up raids increasingly difficult.

But having turned from bank robberies to armed hold-ups on cash vans, organised crime gangs have once again changed tack and are now engaging in robberies with hostage-taking.

This is a classic example of the security-crime arms race. As bank security has improved massively, to the point at which only the most desperate and inexperienced criminals will walk through the door with a shotgun, crime has found a new way of getting the vault doors open.

Tiger kidnapping, which is much more common in Ireland (and NI) than it is in the mainland UK, involves identifying a senior or important employee, finding out where they live and then kidnapping a member of their family. The employee is then forced to allow the criminals access (or in some cases they have to rob the money themselves) otherwise their loved ones are killed.

When it comes to risk assessing your threat here, you need to consider some important facts.

First and foremost, it is unrealistic and unfair to ever expect that your employees will be loyal to your business when they are put in this situation. You absolutely must assume that your employees will do whatever they think is necessary to save their family. At best, your business is a distant second to them in this situation.

You have to be realistic in deciding if this poses a threat to your business. If there are easier ways for criminals to get in, they will exploit them first. A tiger kidnapping is, largely, an attack of last resort. You also need to have assets that are valuable enough to justify this effort but this is a lot harder to judge as the economic drivers of organised crime can appear opaque.

Lastly, you need to decide how you want to combat this risk. Do you want to establish your security so that any attempts by a single employee will fail or would you rather have a system by which your employee could signal duress while carrying out the kidnappers demands?

It is important that you consider your employees wishes here so some form of consultation is recommended. If you opt for a system which makes it impossible for an employee under duress to comply with the kidnapper, you have to be aware that this could lead to loss of life and it is strongly recommended that you ensure your policy here is widely known – a similar example is the notice that “staff do not have access to the safe” you can find in most petrol stations.

Once you have identified the threat and your preferred solution, it is time to catalog what assets you have that could be placed at risk in this manner. From this, you can determine where to build in new security measures and what deterrent controls are justified.

If you want more advice on how to identify and manage your security risks, would like to know more about keeping your staff and your business assets safe or any other aspect of security then get in touch with Halkyn Security Consultants today.