• ‘Project Pink Panthers’ and the cost of tackling the jewellery theft threat…

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    They’re renowned as the most prolific jewellery thieves of all time. Having pulled off some of the most daring heists in criminal history in cities the world over – including London, Tokyo and Dubai — the Pink Panthers are thought to be behind diamond thefts worth nearly £350 million. Needless to say, the gang has now become a high-profile target for law enforcement agencies across the globe and the capture and charging of any Pink Panther member is regularly headline news.

    This month, INTERPOL hosted its latest gathering of international law enforcement agents in Montenegro as part of its ‘Project Pink Panthers’, which was launched back in 2007. The combining of international police forces and building a database of DNA, fingerprints and photos has enabled law enforcement agencies to successfully identify, locate and arrest hundreds of suspected Pink Panthers members.

    Of course, not all gangs are as sophisticated as the Panthers but the onus is still on all jewellery stores to protect themselves as best they can; security is something which costs the UK jewellery industry an estimated £210 million a year. From forensic gel to smoke screen technology, from indestructible doors to intensive staff training — introducing security systems and procedures goes a long way to enabling jewellers to reduce the number of violent crimes currently affecting the industry.