From the London Evening Standard:
DNA-laced security mist, chemical, biological and nuclear-proof panic rooms and superyacht getaway subs. The paranoid world of London’s super-rich rivals anything you see in Spectre, as John Arlidge reports
Operation Grand Slam, perhaps? The paranoid world of London's super-rich
Most people come to Mayfair to buy. It could be dinner at Scott’s or a little but rather expensive something from the boutiques on Mount Street. Perhaps it’s a fancy car from Jack Barclay on Berkeley Square. The Bentley Bentayga, the firm’s first 4x4 — bigger than the average starter home and more expensive — is currently the most coveted ride for one per centers. Biggest of all is a new house. The starting price for a pied-à-terre is £5m and the damage quickly rises to £40m.
Heyrick Bond Gunning — yes, that really is his name — visits Mayfair most days, but he does not come to buy. He comes to sell. The imposing 44-year-old, a former Grenadier Guards officer, is one of a new breed of salesmen.
He’s selling building and contents protection, but not the kind you’re used to. As the managing director of security firm Salamanca Risk Management, he sells a guarantee that you and your family will never again be bothered by anyone or anything you don’t want to be bothered by.
Business is booming because billionaires are a paranoid bunch. Take one who recently moved to Mayfair. ‘He wanted everything, from protection from cyber hacking through to physical intrusion and kidnapping,’ says Bond Gunning. ‘We ended up installing fingerprint-activated locks for family members and programmable keys for staff that limit the time they are allowed into the property and the rooms they are able to enter and exit.
‘Inside and outside we installed 24-hour monitored CCTV cameras that are so hi-tech they can tell the difference between a dog, cat and a person. In the garden there are thermal-imaging cameras that can detect heat sources in the undergrowth. One thing intruders can’t hide is the heat of their bodies.
‘Should an intruder evade the cameras or ignore the warnings they automatically broadcast, the property itself is protected by bulletproof glass and alarm sensors in all rooms. There is a bullet, gas and bombproof panic or safe room, with its own food and water, medical supplies and communications, and an impregnable supply of fresh air. Just in case the family cannot make it there in time, key rooms are sealed by reinforced shutters.’
The bill for such peace of mind? A cool £1m.
Just as boutique finance houses, family offices, lawyers, private tutors, butlers and nanny services have sprung up to cater for the ‘needs’ of London’s super-rich, an army of James Bond-type ‘Qs’ now develop and sell the kind of safety systems and gadgets that 007 could only dream of.
Some of their tricks are easy to understand and relatively easy to install. Former Israeli Major-General Aharon Ze’evi Farkash, one-time head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, runs a company called FST21 that merges facial, voice and behavioural recognition technology into an unhackable and secure keyless entry system for London’s newest fortress homes....MUCH MOREHT: ZeroHedge