Sophisticated Security: The modern approach to protecting luxury homes
15 March 2018

Sophisticated Security: The modern approach to protecting luxury homes


In a recent article published by PrimeResi, Gerard Cooper provides an insight into the world of Private Client Security.

The world’s attitude towards security has changed. There’s no doubt this has become more prevalent in the wake of some truly appalling acts of terror witnessed in recent years.

This change in outlook has had a profound effect on the private client market, where in my experience, security requirements have become the number one priority for homeowners at this level.

I have been operating a family-owned, independent security business within the luxury property sector for over 30 years. My team are experts in the design and recommendation of tailored solutions for high net-worth individuals.

The last ten years has brought many changes in security trends, technology, intrusion methods, Police investigation and forensic procedures. I have experienced first-hand the incredible growth of the London property market and increased demands from insurers that amplify the personal risk and exposure of high-profile clients.

Gerard Cooper

(Pictured) Gerard Cooper

Clients and their families want to understand more about the risks and threats that might be present to them. This could be from a profile perspective – are they in the spotlight; have they been in the news recently; have they been making high-profile purchases that might attract attention? Perhaps they are a lottery winner or have received new wealth - are they a potential target; is the threat to their person, their family or their home and belongings?

These questions need to be discussed in fine detail to determine the level of risk and appropriate level of security protection required.


Cyber threats


Criminals have become more sophisticated in their approach to advancements in electronic opportunities. In addition, the rise of the internet, social media, globalisation and of course cyber crime, have all added to the number of ways information can be obtained about a client, and used for personal gain.

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It used to be that clients didn’t want cameras on their property because this ‘advertised’ they had something worth stealing. Nowadays, people don’t seem fazed about posting detailed information about themselves online, advertising their wealth, which generally gives a cyber intruder all the information they need.


“The principles of not making yourself a target still applies in both the physical world and the cyber world.”


Cyber intrusion allows an intruder to ‘case’ any property without the need to leave their home. Most modern intruders use the internet to back up their information about a homeowner, their family and property. The principles of not making
yourself a target still applies in both the physical world and the cyber world.


Recommended solutions


Private clients want complex security, but they also want simplicity in its use and integration into their daily lifestyle. It’s vitally important to not get carried away, and to keep to the basic principles of good security practice.

A good quality Intruder Alarm system remains the base of the overall home security strategy. As a minimum, the system should be monitored and have the capability for Police response. Then, the integration of CCTV and consideration for how this might interact with high-tech Audio Visual systems within the home.

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Many clients will want to know at a glance that their home is secure. Systems that are connected to Apps allow the client to set/unset alarms, view cameras, lock/unlock doors and control internal/external lighting. Through alert notifications, clients can check that their children are home safe from school for example, by viewing a short video clip of their safe arrival.


“The analytical element will not only alert the intruder that he has been detected, but will alert the family too.”


We often recommend external perimeter protection to detect, defend and deter. This is the method of being notified about an intruder before he or she reaches the home. This is vitally important. A system known as video analytics can also be used here,
which allows a CCTV camera to visually track the intruder. The analytical element will not only alert the intruder that he has been detected, but will alert the family too, offering a good early warning to a potential threat.

Our clients often choose to employ the services of a recommended Residential Security Team to monitor activity in and around the property 24 hours a day on their behalf.


Physical protection and natural deterrents


We are providing solutions to keep intruders out more and more, through a combination of physical security protection and natural barriers.


“Intruders do not like cutting themselves and potentially leaving DNA traces at the crime scene.”


In addition to physical blockades such as gates and fences, a defensive planting strategy is often specified, deterring intruders from accessing the property or access points through the positioning of well-established prickly plants around the perimeter. Intruders do not like cutting themselves and potentially leaving DNA traces at the crime scene.

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Internally, Panic Rooms offer a ‘safe haven’ in the event of an intrusion. These spaces are designed by my team and are hidden, impenetrable and provide the amenities to stay safe and comfortable until the emergency services arrive.

A safe, vault, or a combination of safes, allows clients to keep high-value items secure. Using more than one safe allows for the splitting of their risk. For example, we had a client with a pair of extremely expensive earrings. Putting one earring in one safe, and the other earring in the other safe, will split the risk.


Practical advice


Intrusions can be opportunist, planned or targeted. To thwart an opportunist, be vigilant. Close doors and windows. To protect against a targeted threat, counter-surveillance may be an option.

How often do we hear, “I was robbed but my alarm wasn’t on.” Protection can be achieved through doing the simple things such as not leaving windows and doors open, keeping systems well-maintained, securely storing away high value items, not leaving car keys near to the entrance and ensuring your security systems and processes are regularly reviewed.

Once we understand the risks associated, then a solid, robust and well thought through security plan can be developed and built upon in the future.

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Article by Gerard Cooper, founder of Gerard Cooper Security Consultants

Originally published by PrimeResi: https://primeresi.com/sophisticated-security-modern-approach-protecting-luxury-homes


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