Hostile vehicle mitigation specialists, Heald, is calling on local authorities and retail businesses to work together to prevent retail crime, as businesses nationwide face the increasing threat of ram raids.

Searches for terms like ‘anti-ram bollards’ and ‘anti-ram barriers’ surge in autumn/winter¹, showing a heightened demand for extra security among retailers during this time. 

Heald discusses rising retail crime concerns with the British Independent Retailers Association’s (Bira) CEO, Andrew Goodacre: “This year, we have seen a significant increase in retail crime as it reaches epidemic levels. As shops become targets for criminals, Bira is concerned that crime levels will increase even more as we build up to the festive period.”

Recent reports indicate that a ram raid could set back a high street store anywhere between £10K to £60K. The owner of a Nisa Local shop in Cambridgeshire revealed that the £60K damage they experienced would require up to six months’ worth of repairs², leading to additional financial losses from the inability to operate as usual.

Retail expert Andrew adds: “Ram raids tend to be used to steal high-value items, and the nature of the crime means that the impact on the business owner is significant. There is a loss of stock and significant damage to the property that needs repairing, which may lead to a closure period. Ram raids damage and disrupt businesses in so many ways. We’re calling for the police to take retail crime more seriously, respond to reports and do more to deter the criminals.”

One shop in Burnham faced a £10,000 bill for repairs following a ram raid and was refused planning permission by the local council for security shutters³. Security expert at Heald, Debbie Heald MBE, says: “Retailers and local authorities need to join forces in safeguarding high-traffic areas. Ram raids are not just a threat to businesses but also to the safety and security of our communities. By working together to implement the right perimeter protection measures, we can create a safer environment for everyone. This is an important consideration with the festive season ahead, as this generates higher footfall on our high streets.” 

Haulage companies and car garages are among the other businesses that could be affected by ram raid crime. In London and the south of England, a string of ram raids caused £1.8m in damages to various businesses⁴. The perpetrators used stolen Range Rovers and Land Rovers to repeatedly crash into the premises.

Debbie continues: “It’s crucial to recognise the threats high street retailers face, especially during darker months. While local authorities understand these challenges, it’s important to stress how they can support and budget for retailers to have strong security systems.

“Not only do crime rates rise in these months, but issues like poor visibility, inadequate lighting, and bad weather can lead to accidents between drivers and buildings.

“The darker months, often associated with festivities like Christmas, are a time when retailers should be able to focus on serving their communities and boosting the local economy without the shadow of security concerns looming overhead. We’re not suggesting authorities haven’t thought about this issue; it’s simply a gentle reminder to ensure that local businesses have access to the resources they need to protect their premises. 

“The Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill was also part of the King’s speech on the 7th of November, indicating that Martyn’s Law is a priority on the Westminster Government’s agenda; this is something that premises and events will have a legal responsibility to consider in the near future.” 

To learn more about how to protect retail premises against ram raids this autumn and winter, please visit:

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