TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Friday, Jul 12, 2024

How do the rich and famous protect their homes?

How do the rich and famous protect their homes?

With the jailing on Friday of one man for burglary at the home of ex-footballer Ashley Cole - in which he and his partner were bound with cable ties - how are wealthy homeowners fighting back to defend their homes?

Holland Park in west London has been described as a hotbed of activity for criminals

"We're in high demand that's for sure," says John Moore, who heads up Westminster Security, a private security firm protecting homes in affluent areas like Holland Park.

The area of Kensington, where white stucco-fronted villas sell for millions, has become a "real hotbed of criminal activity", said Mr Moore.

"It is namely high-end burglaries, the criminal gangs are very professional and they're travelling from overseas, targeting properties and getting out of the country quickly.

"Literally every other night there is an incident... characters hanging about at three o'clock in the morning, clearly up to no good.

"It's really full on at the moment."

The home of former England captain David Beckham and his fashion designer wife Victoria was burgled while they were inside with their 10-year-old daughter. The Metropolitan Police said a number of items were reported to have been stolen.

It followed the 2019 burglary of Formula 1 heiress Tamara Ecclestone's mansion nearby in which an Italian gang of jewellery thieves stole hundreds of items of jewellery, cash, diamonds and precious stones worth £25m.

Mr Moore said his employees come across people carrying out reconnaissance - taking pictures of CCTV, gates and vehicles at people's homes.

"They'll go over gates and try front doors," he said. "They're that blatant they've got no shame, they just crack on."


'Manned security is expensive'


So how much does it cost wealthy home owners, many of whom spend extended periods away, to have manned security 24/7 all-year-round at their home?

Mr Moore estimated a rough figure of £250,000 to £500,000 a year - but the cost of security is a tax-deductible expense if the threat originates from someone's employment.

He explained: "There is no denying that manned security is expensive.

"A lot of clients see it as investment, so they're investing in the safety and security of their family."

Social media influencer Molly-Mae Hague reportedly lost £800,000 worth of belongings in a raid on her Manchester flat last year


Social media influencer Molly-Mae Hague increased her security after reportedly losing £800,000 worth of belongings last year in a burglary at the Manchester apartment she shared with her boxer boyfriend, Tommy Fury.

The former Love Island contestant said the raid was "without a doubt the worst thing that's happened to me" in a teary YouTube video.

The 22-year-old said posting pictures of her glamorous lifestyle on social media might have tipped the balance between her security and sharing her life with followers.

She has since decided posting house tours on social media is an "absolute no-go", reportedly stopped ordering takeaways to her home, and admitted she has lost her interest in expensive jewellery and clothes which could "compromise" her safety.


'A dog can not be bribed'


A number of celebrities have enlisted the help of four-legged friends to protect their homes, including rapper Stormzy and footballers Jack Grealish and Jesse Lingard.

Robert Metcalfe, who runs Personal Protection Dogs in Nottingham, trains family dogs to protect their owners and property.

He also sells personal protection trained German Shepherds worth £10,000 to the likes of models and Arab princes living in London.

Robert supplies German Shepherds as personal protection dogs


"If you a buy a personal protection dog, it can not be bribed," Mr Metcalfe explained. "It's not going to take a backhand and disappear in the night.

"I had an enquiry from a client a week ago and asked the budget.

"They said he doesn't have a budget - his net worth is two billion."

And what happens when a person protection dogs spots an intruder in the grounds? "You want it to bark and deter them," said Mr Metcalfe.


Panic rooms 'are the norm'


In December Premier League footballer Joao Cancelo suffered cuts to the face attempting to fight off a gang of intruders at this home.

The 27-year-old said "four cowards who hurt me and tried to hurt my family" took all his jewellery in the raid.

Cancelo revealed he had been attacked via Instagram in December


The rich and famous are turning to installing panic rooms over fears of being in a house with an intruder.

TV star Gemma Collins told her BBC podcast last year she had panic rooms installed in her Essex house, reportedly worth £1.3m. The Only Way Is Essex cast member previously came face-to-face with burglars escaping her previous flat in 2015.

Paul Weldon, who runs the Panic Room Company, says panic rooms now "seem to be the norm" when large houses are built. His clients include footballers.

"When architects ask what clients want in their house, they're like sauna, football pitch, cinema room," he said. "We find safe rooms are on that list more and more."

A basic panic room can cost around £40,000, he said. They can be hidden behind false walls, mirrors and even shoe racks.

So how does it work when a burglar is trying to get into someone's home whilst they are inside?

Mr Weldon said: "The general house we're talking about here has some good alarm protection, so you get notifications there's some sort of activity outside.

"So the client can get themselves locked in a safe area with good communication.

"So in that room there will be a link to the CCTV and they can call for assistance from their security team or the police."

Although enquiries for panic rooms has been eclipsed by the demand for safe rooms for a very different threat.

"The nuclear shelter side of the business has absolutely taken off," he said.

Panic rooms can be disguised by false walls, mirrors and shoe racks


But where are the police in all of this? Surely the rich and famous too should be able to rely on the police to deter criminals?

Mr Moore, a former soldier before joining the private security industry, said: "A lot of people will slag the police off, and say why should people have to pay for private security when we've got the police?

"We're lucky in London there is a high concentration of police and they are very good at turning up at short notice and being there when required.

"There will always be a requirement for private security even if the police force doubled, because the police can't be on every street corner.

"It's similar to people paying for private healthcare and private schools."

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×