Andrew Thomas

22nd March, 2018

Risk Perspectives

The Night Watcher – The Movie

Over the years there has been a steady stream of blockbuster movies based on the world of crime, organised or otherwise.  Many of the biggest films to date are based on real life events.  For example, the movie Goodfellas starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta is based on the story of Henry Hill, a member of the New York crime family, who ultimately became an FBI informant and testified against his former friends and colleagues.

There has always been concern that these types of movie glorify the world of crime (…this may be true).  The victims in such crimes are in truth rarely considered, for example, what happens to the poor driver whose truck is hijacked at gunpoint in Goodfellas, or the bank employee working on the day Bonnie & Clyde decided to show up to make a withdrawal.

More recently there has been a film made about the Hatton Garden heist in 2015 (imaginatively titled The Hatton Garden Job….).  On the surface the crime in question may not have any obvious victims – nobody was hurt – but as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a victimless crime.  It was reported recently that the company who own the safe deposit at Hatton Garden has called in the liquidators following the fatally damaged reputation the robbery caused.  It’s unlikely the directors of Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Ltd will be clambering for the good seats at the cinema.

More recently, the news has been awash with stories of aggravated burglaries throughout the South of England.  The methods used by the perpetrator have led some newspapers and reports to dub him the Night Watcher (filmmakers already have their film title ready!).

The Night Watcher struck seven times between November 2014 and October 2017 across a wide area of the South of England, from Berkshire to Kent (and even Chichester towards the south coast).  Not content with merely breaking and entering (that wouldn’t make an exciting movie!), the Night Watcher appears to spend considerable time staking out his target and gaining an understanding of the routines of the home’s occupants, before using what the police have concluded to be militarily trained techniques to enter the property.  Once there he uses a combination of a sawn-off shotgun, cable ties and extreme violence to force his victims to give up their valuables.

The nonchalance of the raider is just one of many signs confirming he has no thought of the effects his actions will have on his victims.  Sure, a perfectly adequate insurance policy will be able to pay for the lost items of jewellery however the physical and mental scars left by such a violent intrusion will not be healed by financial compensation.

Insurers have become increasingly aware that the higher the net worth of a client, the bigger target they might become to criminals. Simply covering the physical aspects of loss is no longer enough.  The mental and emotional damage left behind after an event is far more complex.  This is why more and more insurers are extending their cover to include ‘Crisis Management’ sections to their policies. These can provide covers such as upgrades to your existing security systems, professional security guards, medical and psychiatric services, loss of salary and reward.

It’s important to protect those things dear but protecting one’s own wellbeing is far more important.

As for the Night Watcher, he shouldn’t be the inspiration glorifying crime in a movie but watch this space….