To Catch a “Pink Panther”

Stephen Armson-Smith, Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor with Essex Police, gives us advice in the wake of the Portland Tiara theft.

A gang of thieves smashed an armoured glass display case at The Welbeck Estate in Worksop, Nottinghamshire on Tuesday night and stole the famous Portland Tiara – seen by countless members of the public and described as a ‘national treasure’.

I don’t know if you saw the above in the newspapers, not the thing of iconic movies featuring diamond thieves, but a group of ruthless organised criminals depriving the nation of a work art.

Is this the start of a spate of similar crimes like that in the past with Jade collections that I cannot say, but this would be a wise time look at your collections especially if they contain valuable jewels and review the security you have in place to protect them. Check your CCTV and case/intruder alarms are working correctly, is the time/date on CCTV correct, are the cameras clean and free from obstruction, the earliest activation of the alarm is important, thought about a “fog generator”? are you flaunting the security that you have with good signage (remember some of this could be put away whilst open so as not spoil the “Visitor Experience”).

Then the staff – time for some reminder staff training? in a lot cases it will start with “hostile recognisance” a supposed innocent visit to the collection to establish what security you have in place and the best exit routes, or that person that is on property out of hours or that “lost (?)” person in private areas, ensure your staff keep a look out for and report any suspicious activity – a diplomatic challenge will not upset an innocent visitor but may put off a potential thief (if you can discreetly steer the suspect into CCTV view would be an advantage), BUT NEVER PUT YOURSELF AT RISK. Keep a notebook and pen in your pocket to record time/date and description of people and vehicles including index numbers that are suspious.

 

Just a few tips, not an exhaustive list and hopefully not needed.

Museum News – 18th September 2018

Dear All,

 

I am currently conducting a short survey to help shape the future of the Heritage Education Group (HEG). Please can you spare a few minutes to answer these questions: https://essexmdo.polldaddy.com/s/future-of-heg

 

I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who got their Benchmarking return in. I haven’t been given the exact figure yet, but we had around 80% of Accredited/WTA museums respond, which is an Essex record. Hopefully next year we can make it 100%!

 

Upcoming Essex Events

  • Museums Essex – Save the Date

The next Museums Essex meeting will be on Tuesday 4th October at Thurrock Museum. More details will be available soon.

  •  Donation to Disposal: Documentation Procedures and Guidance, Friday 12th October, 10am till 3:30pm, Rayleigh Weir Fire Station, FREE

This session, led by the Collections Trust, will explore the basics of museum documentation, its importance and how it is approached by different organisations.

By the end of the course, participants will:

  • Be familiar with the requirements of the Spectrum Primary Procedures and how they might be applied in different museums
  • Understand what is required by Accreditation
  • Be aware of where to go to for help and advice
  • Feel confident in what they need to do to meet the standard

For more information, and to book, please visit: https://essexmdo.com/events/donationtodisposal/

  • Essex Museums “Hidden Histories Study Day”, 23rd October, British Museum, FREE

“Hidden histories” is a term used to describe stories from the past that are overlooked or not generally known because they apply to a minority or oppressed group, including (but not limited to) LGBT, disability, mental health, BAME and women’s stories. For example, “Snapping the Stiletto” has been uncovering stories of women from the last 100 years that haven’t been researched and shared before.

Early in 2019, SHARE will be offering grants next year to support museums to explore “hidden histories”. In advance of this, I have arranged for a study in London. The agenda is still being finalised but will include an “Uncomfortable Art Tour”, looking at the Imperial past of the collections and how our Colonial past has shaped the collections: https://www.theexhibitionist.org/

I expect places at this event to be popular so I am initially limiting it to two per museum, with priority to Accredited/WTA museums. However, I will keep a waiting list for anyone else who is interested.

  • Heritage Education Group, Tuesday 18th December 2018, 10am for 10:30, Venue TBC, FREE

The Heritage Education Group (HEG) is open to anyone working or volunteering in heritage education in Essex, including museums, heritage centres, parks, libraries, churches etc. It meets quarterly, at different venues around the county. At our September meeting we’ll be looking at Community Co-Production and sharing updates from around the county. For more information, visit: https://essexmdo.com/events/heg/

  • SAVE THE DATE: Essex Police Safer Rural Communities Day, 14th November, Slamseys Farm, Blackley Lane, Great Notley, Braintree, CM77 7QW, 10am until 3pm, FREE

“Visit the many exhibitors showcasing crime prevention products, gain crime prevention advice & information from Essex Police and the exhibitors.

Includes relevant policing departments, partners, farming organisations, security products, CCTV, access control, equine advice, drones and much more!!

FREE ENTRY AND PARKING ON SITE

For further information dial 101 and ask for Essex Police, then ask for Essex Watch Liaison Officer”

  • Upcoming VisitEssex Training

17th October – Customer Care and Selling skills at Cressing Temple 9.15am – 2pm £49pp including lunch (£69pp for non-members)

15th November – Event Management at Wivenhoe House, 9.15 – 2pm £59pp including lunch (£79pp for non-members)

Email Lisa.Bone@essex.gov.uk for more information

 

SHARE Updates

  • SHARE Training Calendar

SHARE recently launched their 2018/19 calendar of training opportunities, which can be viewed here: http://www.sharemuseumseast.org.uk/

 

 

Vacancies

  • Vacancies at Essex Record Office

Customer Service Lead (19485): https://essexcc.taleo.net/careersection/ecc_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=19485&lang=en

Archive and Collections Lead (19486) https://essexcc.taleo.net/careersection/ecc_external/jobdetail.ftl?job=19486&lang=en

 

Invitation to join Heritage Watch

 

This guest post is by Stephen Armson-Smith from Essex Police

Heritage Watch was launched in Essex on 23rd April 2015 following the pattern of those already in existence in Cheshire and Hertfordshire. Since that date there have had numerous mini launches around the county membership currently stands at 135 members. We have also assisted Kent and the City of York with the launch of their Heritage Watch schemes.

Heritage Watch is an Essex Police led partnership between agencies that are committed to protecting our heritage, as well as members of the public who want to help preserve our heritage.

The watch scheme looks to maintain and preserve important places of interest, encouraging vigilance and reporting of suspicious activity around sites. This is to prevent any theft or crime that may damage assets beyond recovery, which may lead to the loss of a piece of history for this and future generations.

Heritage Watch locations would include ancient earth works and archaeological sites, listed buildings, museums, galleries, religious buildings, historic visitor attractions buildings and objects of importance to the local community and others.

We aim to inform Heritage Watch members; of crime prevention advice, incidents affecting heritage assets, events and general information relevant to heritage assets both local to Essex and further afield. Naturally no news is good news in relation to crime reports, but we hope also to source other relevant news of interest too. This information will provided by Essex Community Messaging (ECM) and e-mail messages via your local Essex Watch Liaison Officer.

Who can join?

Anyone with a heritage interest including those entrusted with the care or management or ownership of a heritage asset as listed above, or even as an heritage enthusiast or frequent visitor to heritage locations, you can all help each other within Heritage Watch.

For further information and an on-line application form go to:

https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/essex-watch/heritage-watch/

Like other watch schemes we hope that Heritage Watch will be a two way flow of information, with general relevant information and events sent from members via their local Essex Watch Liaison Officer to other members, and members reporting crime and suspicious activity to the Police either by dialing 999 in cases of emergency or crimes in progress or for non-emergencies by dialling 101 or by reporting online.