The importance of time in the Hatton Gardens Robbery


Over the last few years, high street banks have been retracting their facilities to offer customers safe deposit boxes which in turn has resulted in a rise of private safe deposit centres across the country - Hatton Gardens being one of the most trusted. 

What took place over this year’s Easter bank holiday weekend was one of the most strategically planned robberies of all time. 

During the course of the robbery, the team of thieves managed to remove and destroy internal CCTV footage, get though a steel security door and drill through a 2 meter thick vault wall, stealing the contents of 72 deposit boxes with an estimated value of up to £60 Million. 

Strongrooms and vaults are an essential layer of protection where a higher level of security is required - be it large amounts of cash on site, high value items or clients where there is a significantly high risk of theft, attack or hostage taking. They can be custom designed to withstand fire, drilling and even explosive attacks, however, the main success of the thieves wasn't their knowledge of strongrooms, their power tool expertise or their meticulous planning - it was time. 

The thieves had almost 60 uninterrupted hours to break into the vault, the safe deposit boxes and make an unnoticed escape despite alarms notifying the authorities of a break in. Tests undertaken using a diamond tipped drill - like the one used in the heist - drilled through a wall of the same material and dimensions in just under 3 hours - highlighting the window of time authorities had in order to catch the thieves in the act. 

This event has been a tough lesson learnt for a number of people - the authorities for not acting on an alert, the safe deposit centre for not having monitored surveillance or guards in place and the unfortunate customers of the safe deposit centre who didn't have their the contents of their boxes insured. The heist has made both end users and businesses reconsider their security solutions and whether they are robust enough.

Associated Security have worked with a number of Safe Deposit Centres to ensure their strongrooms and access control procedures are as robust as they can be, as well providing bespoke home safes to individuals that would prefer to keep their valuables secure within their own home.