Britain is emerging from the economic gloom but there are a growing number of people who have become wealthier than anticipated since the financial crisis hit seven years ago. In fact over the past decade, the collective wealth of the UK’s richest people has more than doubled; with the richest 1,000 individuals and families now having a combined fortune of more than £547bn (The Sunday Times Rich List 2015).
By contrast, the average UK earner is only just better off than they were before the recession; and according to the Equality Trust, the richest 1,000 have more money than the poorest 40% of British households combined.
As we saw on Sky TV's Who'd be a Billionaire, there is very little that the super-rich cannot buy with their money; but with great riches and expensive possessions comes the risk of theft and kidnap for ransom. And yet many wealthy individuals perceive their security risk to be low and incidents of theft as unlikely; but they do happen, and as the rich-poor divide increases – so does ultra high net worth individual's security risk.
It is very unpleasant to think of being attacked, and it is easy to bury your head in the sand, thinking "it will never happen to me". But the reality is that it might, and the consequences can be devastating.
When it comes to security there is no certainty. There is no solution that will ensure that your home will never get broken into, but security can be installed to make it extremely difficult to break-in – so why would anyone try?
Security is a mindset. If people think about their security they will reduce their risk. We understand our clients and identify their risk before mitigating that risk with sensible measures of security, equally if clients make sensible lifestyle choices they will further reduce their risk. The flamboyance and success of the super-rich can make them a target for those less wealthy and unpopular among those they challenge.
Complacency heightens the risk; it is important to always be on the lookout for an attack. Opportunistic attacks do occur, but most on the super-rich are planned. The attackers are predatory and very sophisticated at gathering intelligence and searching for a weakness, known as hostile surveillance. We advise our wealthy clients on how to conduct anti-surveillance and generally be more aware. In addition and amongst other specialist training, we offer evasive and defensive driving courses so that if they do find themselves in a tight spot they have a fighting chance of being able to deal with it. This training when coupled with intelligent systems, which have the ability to carry out hostile surveillance detection, make all the difference when it comes to reducing the risks faced by wealthy clients.
When it comes to the security risk of the super-rich, the mismatch between perception and reality is great. Natural optimism combined with a lack of understanding of security can lead the super-rich to believe that their homes and their fortunes are secure. While security risk may never go away, understanding the reality can help many individuals take action to lower their risk.
Are you confident in the security of your home?