Multimillion Diamond Heist Could Have Been Prevented By Belfast Company

27 Feb 2013

MicroSense, a Belfast based company claim if their product, an invisible microwave fence, had been deployed at Brussels Internationa...

MicroSense, a Belfast based company claim if their product, an invisible microwave fence, had been deployed at Brussels International Airport the jewel heist estimated at £30m (US$50m) would have been completely avoided. Investigations continue for eight masked men disguised as police officers, who just before 8pm on Feb. 18th carried out one of the boldest heists of the last decade. The gang, who were armed with machine guns, broke through a hole they had made in the airport’s perimeter security fence in two vehicles. The incident highlights the lack of perimeter security at some of the world’s largest airports and is one of many to occur at airports. In 2005, diamonds worth $115 million were stolen from Amsterdam Schiphol airport. 

It was the prevalence of such instances that lead MicroSense to develop its pioneering new security system. The product creates an invisible barrier around a secure installation which will alert security to any unwanted intrusion. It also discriminates between background interference, such as passing vehicles or wildlife, and genuine intruders thus reducing the high level of false alarms associated with competitor offerings. The curtain- like beam can sit inside a conventional fence to add a further layer of protection to any facility. MicroSense can also connect to CCTV and when an alert is triggered a real- time image provides verification of an intrusion to security personnel. 

Outside of the airport terminal the perimeter remains one of the most challenging areas to secure; with no consistent standard for perimeter security it is up to individual facilities to protect themselves against attacks.  A system which alerts airports to a breach before it happens, such as MicroSense, would have prohibited the jewel raid in Brussels by alerting authorities to the presence of unauthorised individuals in a secure zone. Used in conjunction with CCTV, security personnel would have received an alert in real-time with a live camera feed of the breach. 

“Our system is preventative, whereas the majority are reactive and only inform you after the damage has been done” says MicroSense CEO, Stephen Seawright. The product is designed for integration with existing security systems and can add a further level of fortification to any critical infrastructure. 

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