diamond-heist-london-movie-ocean-s-eleven-originalThe news of the Easter weekend diamond heist at Hatton Garden in London last month has been all over the news. The details read like an old fashioned bank heist movie.

It is believed that the thieves had inside information and managed to gain entry to the basement vault by abseiling down the lift shaft and drilling through the concrete vault walls to bypass the large metal vault door.

72 safety deposit boxes were forced open, resulting in the theft of millions of pounds worth of jewellery, heirlooms and uncut diamonds and gems. The crime was clearly highly organised, with some reporters describing them as an “Ocean’s 11 type team”.

The BBC have even produced a documentary, showing the process they believe the thieves took to carry out the bank heist. You can still catch it on BBC iPlayer.

This cleverly masterminded crime is more commonly found in the movies, but how did this happen in modern day London?

There are many concerns as to why the thieves were not interrupted, as the heist is said to have spanned a number of days across the bank holiday weekend. Images of the burglars have since been released from the building’s CCTV cameras.
A brand new alarm system had recently been installed in the safety deposit building, but it was so new that it had yet to be switched on when the thieves carried out their heist. Despite this, an alarm activation was triggered, alerting the company’s monitoring station. Following procedure, the monitoring station then contacted the police in the early hours of Good Friday morning.

Reasons why the police failed to attend site after this activation are yet to be released. It is said that the activation was not deemed a high enough grade to require a response.


The hole drilled to gain access to the vault.

Although the alarm was activated in the very early hours of April 3rd, Scotland Yard did not state awareness of a burglary at the safe deposit building until April 7th.

Insurance policies for high risk buildings generally require remotely monitored CCTV BS8418. When an activation occurs, a person at a monitoring station looks at the footage and determines if it is a genuine intrusion. They then contact a designated keyholder, or the police, to attend site and investigate. Surely a building holding such valuable items would have high security measures such as these in place?

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