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Just Asking for it 4

Laminated glass will crack but not fall in pieces because of the plastic running through it. Here Sgt. Harlock shows a sample to the trainee store managers at Havering Technical College

Police work in focus trusting an old safe? You're... Juste Asking For

BUSINESSMEN with old, out-of-date safes and alarm systems are offering an open invitation to the cracksman. Too many businesses persist in trusting safes and alarms which are no more than toys in the hands of the professional criminal.

The average office safe is often over 40 years old and there are some, 80 years old and more.

Yet the only time people give serious thought to security is when it is too late "when you are done for a couple of thousand pounds' worth of stock," crime prevention officer Sgt. Jack Harlock told a security teach-in last week.

The venue was Havering Technical College, where nine young people are taking a retail management course.

Their first lecture was on crime prevention. Sgt. Harlock, top man in his field in the Romford district, is used to lecturing.


His work means that perhaps several times a month, he will give up evenings to lecture on domestic security, or to visit women's clubs and residents' associations.

Tonight, the exercise is a valuable one for him, too his audience includes the shop and store managers of tomorrow. It is vital to impress on them the value of good security.

A distinct theme emerges during the two-hour chat that nothing is impossible. The thief will always find a way.

He describes cases which underline the criminals' determination - where they have shinned three or four floors up a sheer stack pipe to force a window; broken in througha roof to crack a safe; slithered high above the ground across a ladder from an empty factory to rich spoils in the place next door.

The modern thief has gall enough to smash the plate glass window of a main road shop if the goods on display are worth taking - leather jackest, jewellery or radios are all easily disposable. In the 1950's, they even "dragged out" security grills with their cars.

The thief who breaks into a garage will use the firm's own tools and oxy-acetylene equipment to rob them of their takings. He will use the firm's phone to ring up a comrade-in-crime to come and collect the booty in a car.

Sgt. Harlock did an imaginary security cover in the classroom. A flimsy wooden door was replaced with a steel one. Walls were lined with sensitive wire and alarm tibes. Windows were fitted with "trembler devices."

Inside, infra-red rays and mini-radar beams. And a safe fitted with an alarm.

Expensive? Maybe. But secure. And that, after all, is the main thing.

College Archive Disclaimer

The information contained in this archive section of website is for general information purposes only.
The opinions expressed in these archive news articles in no way reflect the views of Havering College and in some examples flatly contradict the policies and principles of the College and its students and staff. No offence is meant by the College by what is, in some instances, clearly offensive opinions being expressed. Havering College has a long held commitment to equality and is proudly respectful of diversity.
Access to the original source materials is possible by visiting the College Library at Ardleigh Green.

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