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Tue 1 May 2007 12:00 AM

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Retailers review security

Security experts attempt to calm retailers in wake of Dubai's Wafi City raid.

Retailers in the UAE should avoid knee-jerk reactions to the recent armed robbery at Dubai's Wafi City mall, according to security experts.

While many malls in the UAE are reviewing their security systems following the heist, in which jewellery worth about AED50 million (US $13.6 million) was stolen, many security specialists are advising retailers and mall operators to consider their options carefully. Jason Aboud, business development manager at Dubai-based Bond Communications, which has a division specialising in security devices such as CCTV and access control systems, said that while many retailers may need to improve their security systems, the type of robbery carried out at Wafi City may prove to be an anomaly in the UAE.

"It looks like they [the robbers] took advantage of the way that Wafi City mall is," he said. "There are not many malls in Dubai that have a high end jewellery store that can be accessed from the street level, with vehicles driving right inside up to the shops.

"The retail industry will have to pay a bit more attention and beef-up their security, but not go overboard."

Chris Chappill of Stoploss Ltd, a UK-based security specialist, said retailers should look at historical growth of retail crime in other markets such as Europe and the USA, before they act.

"Look at the success and failures of prevention and the penalties for such crimes in those countries, and the deterrent effect it has on offenders. Then based on having all the facts look at implementing a tried and tested solution that meets your requirements," he said.

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