“Fast deployment of extra security measures will save the post-holiday headaches from criminal activity”
The festive period in the UK traditionally sees a significant rise in crime, with attention focused on construction sites during their extensive closedown, leaving high-value plant, equipment, fuel and materials as unattended, attractive targets. Vacant warehouses, retail units and other commercial premises are also likely targets for organisers of unlicensed music events – illegal raves – and squatters.
The Chartered Institute of Building’s research found 92% of construction sites experienced theft regularly, and a survey by protection experts The VPS Group indicated that over 1 in 5 sites experience theft or vandalism weekly.
Paul Corten, Sales Director for The VPS Group, said: ” Past Christmas’ have seen a significant spike in thefts over the seasonal period, but the security industry is bracing itself for one of the most challenging month’s ever as the impact of the pandemic, bankruptcies and a looming recession combine to fuel a record level of criminal activity.”
Properties without security are up to five times more likely to be affected, and vacant properties and empty sites in particular, are prime targets for thieves and trespassers.
Because construction sites and vacant properties may have power utilities switched off over the seasonal period, specialist ‘stand-alone’ alarm and cctv systems are recommended, as they do not require external power sources.
Mobile CCTV towers are also popular because they can be rapidly deployed, and easily moved into different locations to ensure good coverage of the areas needing protection. They can be linked wirelessly to various heat and movement detectors and to each other to provide a network of ‘eyes’ that can be monitored from a remote 24⁄7 video monitoring centre over the holidays.
Similarly, more sophisticated intruder alarm systems have specialist software analytics that significantly reduce the number of false alarms.
Site and facilities managers should carry out perimeter checks, ensure valuable plant, metals or fuels are either removed or kept secured and out of sight. They could also call in an expert eye to carry out a security risk assessment this week. “There’s still just time to assess requirements and for the fast deployment of extra security measures, that will save the post-holiday headaches from criminal activity.” said VPS’ Paul Corten.