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AWDC Integrates Anti-Tiger Kidnapping Programs

Jun 27, 2013 10:12 AM   By AWDC
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Press Release: In collaboration with the local Police Antwerp, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre Security Office (AWDC SO) launches an integrated anti-tiger-kidnapping program. 

Ari Epstein, the CEO of AWDC, said, “We are fortunate that tiger kidnappings don’t happen often, but it’s crucial to prevent this type of crimes at all cost. Security is one of the important aspects we defined in our strategic plan, launched early 2012. In a first phase we restructured the AWDC Security Office, redefined its operations, coordination and communication and appointed Stephan Van Hauwe as senior security coordinator. In a second phase we joined forces with the local Police of Antwerp, the Province of Antwerp and the City of Antwerp to launch a series of security awareness sessions, the first of which is this dedicated anti-tiger kidnapping program.”

The primary objective of the integrated anti-tiger-kidnapping program is to explain and assist in the prevention and the procedures that need to be applied in a tiger kidnapping in progress. The program was tailor-made for the Antwerp diamond industry.

Serge Muyters of Police Antwerp said, “Early detection is key in this anti-tiger kidnapping program. A very important security measure is the creation of a clear risk analysis. The Antwerp police offer all members of the Antwerp diamond industry a professional and free of charge audit by trained specialists. They will audit your home and give you detailed technical advice on how you can improve the security in and around your house or office.”

Van Hauwe said, “Research indicates that prevention measures through adequate organization of home and office security are the most effective ones. This first security awareness Session on anti-tiger kidnapping marks the start of a series of monthly and ad hoc session, organized by AWDC SO and targeted at all stakeholders of the Antwerp diamond industry. In addition and similar to the model implemented by for example financial industry, we have initiated a ’Security Hotline,’ where people can report unusual or suspicious activities.”

The security awareness sessions are also supported by the Governor of Antwerp, Cathy Berx and the city’s Mayor, Bart De Wever.

Berx said, “When a diamond dealer, his wife, kids or parents become victim of a tiger kidnapping, it affects all of us on a very personal level. The implementation of strict safety measures and the launch of the Diamond Master Plan in February last year, are important steps towards an integrated diamond trading strategy for Antwerp.”

De Wever said,  “The Antwerp diamond industry is not a secluded area but a part of one of the busiest districts in our city. Therefor it’s essential to provide a secure environment where people can live and work together in safe conditions. Security is key to the long-term development of our Antwerp diamond business.”

Lastly, a crucial element of the program concerns the development of an anti-tiger kidnapping database. In dealing with an ongoing tiger kidnapping, fast access to accurate information is essential to increase the efficiency of police authorities.


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Tags: Antwerp, AWDC, police, prevention, security, tigerkidnapping
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