“Athena Protect”

This system serves to increase the safety of its members very efficiently and cheaply.

WHAT IS IT ?

In view of an increasing number of crimes targeting watchmakers and jewellers, and following an armed robbery in his own store in 2008, the Vevey-based watchmaker and jeweller Yannick Meylan (Horlogerie-Joaillerie Lionel Meylan SA) decided to take action. In 2009, he set up a network designed to enable his fellow professionals to share and circulate information. He called this email-based security chain Athéna Protect.

Athéna Protect is an Internet platform that brings all information together in a central location, where it can then be accessed exclusively by the network’s members. Members can view and send information at any time and from any location (using a computer, smartphone or tablet).

Initially aimed at stores selling luxury goods, over time Athéna Protect has expanded its coverage to encompass other business sectors that are also particularly at risk of vandalism and other attacks: service stations, hotels and restaurants, ready-to-wear fashion outlets, newsagents, etc. The main prerequisite for potential members wishing to join the network is a video surveillance system.

WHY ?

The key aim is to stay a step ahead of the criminals!

The world is becoming smaller and distance is less of a barrier, a fact that criminals are using to their advantage. Communication between police forces in different regions and countries is still slow, despite the availability of modern technologies. Athéna Protect distributes information to all its members and to different police forces at a speed close to real time.

OBJECTIVES

  • Anticipate planned criminal actions targeting retailers
  • Improve safety for everyone
  • Stay a step ahead of the criminals
  • Develop a database of reliable suppliers of security products & services
  • Roll out the network within Europe

UNITED FOR STRENGTH AND EFFECTIVENESS

This is the guiding philosophy of Athéna Protect.

Each member plays an active role within the system and communicates with other members to proactively contribute to increasing security in each business sector. Together, we are stronger. This mind-set will help to reduce the impact of criminal activity on retail businesses and their employees.

HOW DOES IT WORK ?

Members of the Athéna Protect network transmit and receive urgent messages routed through a secure Web platform. Members receive email notifications of new messages, inviting them to log in and check the alert online.

The principle behind the system is simple: members circulate live information on issues relating to security, protection, theft, robberies and vandalism, supported by identifying details such as photos and/or videos. The aim is to circulate this information very rapidly to ensure that perpetrators are recognised immediately if they turn up at other members’ businesses.

This fast and direct system unquestionably represents an effective and low-cost means of increasing security (200.- 100.- / Swiss francs/year):

  1. Each member publishes its alerts online, including photos and descriptions.
  2. These alerts are then checked by the Athéna Protect administrator.
  3. New alerts published by members are disseminated immediately, by business sector, to email addresses.
  4. Members can access the events history at any time.
  5. They can also share the experiences of other members in their industry sector and exchange ideas.
  6. Athéna Protect works with high-quality suppliers of security products and services to develop a database of reliable partners to help its members improve their protection. Including, for example, Amaudruz SA électricité in Lausanne, a trustworthy video surveillance supplier.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

If a member in Lausanne is the victim of a theft at 9 o’clock on Monday morning, the same criminals could target another member in Chaux-de-Fonds that same afternoon.

Thanks to Athéna Protect, the member in Lausanne immediately publicises the event, supported by photos. The other members receive the information around 15 minutes later, allowing the Chaux-de-Fonds member to prevent the theft as he or she is looking out for the suspects. When they arrive outside the store later that day, the shopkeeper recognises them from their photos on the Athena Protect network Web platform and immediately calls the police.

RESULTS

Athéna Protect has already helped to arrest several thieves targeting valuable watches.

A man identified from a photo taken during a theft in Geneva was arrested two weeks later in Ticino. He was recognised by staff at another jeweller’s store where he was attempting to use the same technique to steal a watch. The theft was prevented by the sales staff’s vigilant attention and the offender was then arrested outside another jewellery store in the same town.

CONTACT

Yannick Meylan   info@athenaprotect.ch  – Rue du Griffon 6 – 1845 Noville – Switzerland

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