Leeds’ Ram-Raiding Epidemic

Make Sure You’re Protected

Leeds businesses are on edge following a spate of ram-raid attacks in the city.

Police are concerned as the recent incidents appears to be work of criminal gangs. In response to this years’ Hugo Boss ram-raid on Vicar Lane, Leeds Detective Inspector James Enwistle commented:

“This was clearly been a planned and organised burglary targeting the high-value clothing that the store sells. We fully appreciate that incidents of this nature in the city centre cause understandable concern to the public and to the business community and our colleagues in the city neighbourhood policing team are working to provide suitable reassurance and advice following this incident.”

Which Leeds businesses are high-risk?

If you have:

An ATM at your premises
High value electronic goods
High value designer items
Alcoholic spirits
Wine and cigarettes
Golf clubs
Specialist sports equipment

What is a typical ram raid?

A vehicle that has usually been stolen is first rammed into the property which penetrates the premises physical property/security. The criminals then jump out and grab as much property as possible before making a hasty get a way. Quite often the ram-raided vehicle is left behind, and a getaway vehicle helps the criminal flee.

Which Leeds Business have been hit?

  • Hugo Boss, Vicar Lane, March 2019.
  • Netpremacy, Wellington Street, targeting on the 20th May 2019. Computer equipment was stolen. Two cars reversed into the building.
  • Flannels, Vicar Lane, 2017 and twice in 2018.
  • Boston Spa Post Office, 4th September 2018, 6 men in balaclavas.
  • Rolex, Commercial Street, February 2018.
  • Louis Vitton, Briggate, twice in 2018.
  • Helen Sykes, Armley, March 2019.
  • Hyman’s jewellers, Call Lane, ram raided by a truck in 2017, two men found guilty.
  • Leevans Jewellers, Town Street, November 2018.
  • Smyths Toy Shop, ram raided November 2018, four masked men reversed a car through the glass, threated staff with a hammer and stole game consoles.

Caught on Camera in Leeds

The following incidents have been caught on camera and show the shocking nature of the attacks.

Hugo Boss:          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWF-SUdiGCE
Flannels:              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJMzzYAxxXM
Rolex:                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr2a8Mh9anM

Will my insurance cover my financial loss?

Yes and no – It depends on your policy. In our opinion you should be covered 100% for these types of incidents. At Edison Ives Insurance Solutions we certainly ensure that our customers are fully protected. But we have seen policies on the market that have endorsements effectively excluding this cover. It is important that you or your insurance broker check the insurers schedule and policy wording carefully to ensure you are insured. It should not be taken for granted.

Often the insurers will have requirements for businesses to comply with for cover to be in place. This is not a problem, but it is something that you need to be aware of.

Unfortunately, insurance is often seen as a commodity when it should not be. We always try to get our customers the best price but for the right cover. When you change your tyres on your car, you do not buy the cheapest, the same principal applies to insurance.  

All insurance is not equal and ultimately you want a policy that pays out when you need it.

Where on your premises will they target?

The thieves tend to target the shop front for retailers or loading and delivery bays for wholesalers and distributors. Due to the sheer force and aggression involved in this type of offence conventional security is unable to withstand such an attack.

An intruder alarm is an important deterrent but as these attacks are carried out very quickly the thieves are often well away before the police arrive. The force of the impact is based on two factors; weight and speed. Often criminals will use ballast in a van to increase their weight and impact.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent this type of attack?

The initial aim is to deter the perpetrators from targeting your premises. It is an option to strengthen the building, but this is often expensive and impractical. 

The most practical way is to install posts or retractable bollards, or to work with the local council to install civic obstacles such as large concrete plant pots. The aim is to place a strategic blockage that prevents the ram raiders from being able to have a ‘run up’. Often petrol stations are designed in this way. They have bollards and a tight entrance pointing away from the premises to avoid ram raiders approaching from the road.

What to consider when choosing anti-ram-raiding protection

Not all your premise will be exposed so you need consider which areas are exposed. It is important to look at potential areas where the criminals could take a run up at your property.

You will need to see if it possible to erect bollards/physical barriers outside the premises. This may be difficult on a high street without permission from the council.

Other security measures that may deter attackers are high quality CCTV and reinforced shutters. It may also be worth removing high target items such as ATM’s.

Types of Protection

There are several options that include external and internal measures. As you can imagine external measures tend to be more frequently used as internal measures still result in major property damage.

Dependent on your local bollards tend to be the best deterrent for retailers and security barriers for warehouses and businesses based on industrial park. As with most deterrents it is important that any barriers you use are correctly reinforced and that you use an expert contractor who can advise. As you can imagine if you need to prevent a lorry ram raiding then there is a big difference than the security barriers you would see in a local car park.

A professional contractor will consider impact speed and suggest a solution based on a risk assessment.

If you need insurance assistance

We’ve been in in Leeds insurance sector for a long time and we’re here to support other local businesses. We carefully select the best policies tailored to your business, covering all possible mishaps, not just ram-raiding, without you spending a fortune on unwarranted cover.

Our office is based on Albion Street in the city centre and our customers or prospective customers are always welcome to visit us. We are also active in the community and attend networking events and clients in the area.

We provide our customers with comprehensive business insurance policies to protect them against their biggest risks, keeping their business and employees safe and fully covered.

For a free insurance consultation please contact:

Ged Hickey
T: 0113 390 46 46
Edison Ives Insurance Solutions
Your Future Protected

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