Is your business relying too heavily on CCTV?

clip_image002It’s hard to deny that CCTV has an important role to play in protecting businesses. Being able to record a crime taking place and, if monitored, alert security personnel about details of an incident, are invaluable. However, it is important that businesses are also made aware of the limitations of CCTV.

The first recorded instance of a CCTV camera in use was in Germany in 1943 where it was used to document the launch of rockets. However, it took until the 1980’s for it to really take off when CCTV began to spread across public places, schools, airports, banks and private businesses. Today CCTV is used almost everywhere with an estimated 5.9 million cameras currently running in the UK.

However, despite being hailed as a silver bullet for crime, CCTV has been proven to be weak in many areas.

First of all, a camera cannot actually physically prevent or slow down a crime from happening. Once installed it simply records a crime taking place and unless there is someone watching the footage at that moment who can call for back up, nothing can be done.

Second, cameras are usually easy to spot or easily tricked. By locating cameras at a prior date a criminal can avoid the line of sight in so called ‘blind spots’ and either evade the camera completely or destroy it. There is also nothing to stop a criminal wearing disguises so that they aren’t recognisable.

In contrast to CCTV, physical perimeter security is a strong deterrent. Things like turnstiles, fencing, bollards, rising kerbs, gates and barriers can physically prevent a criminal from gaining access in the first place, whether on foot or in a vehicle.

Finally, it is worth remembering that in a time when the budgets of police forces are wearing thin, the response time for commercial crimes may not be as short or as quick as you hope. So the question then is do you fork out for costly guarding from a private company, or do you opt for making your property look so secure that no criminal would even consider trying to break in?

Here at Gateway we recommend a belt and braces approach to business security. We recognise the importance of CCTV but also recommend that businesses look at other ways they can prevent a crime from ever initially taking place.

Gateway Automation provides a range of products to help businesses and individuals secure their sites. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

Access control solutions for gyms and health centres

clip_image002Tailgating and unauthorised entry by non-paying guests is a real annoyance for many gyms and health centres in the UK, but could access control systems provide a solution?

When people tailgate or obtain access through fraudulent means they cause real problems. Many gyms choose to provide guests with key cards, swipe cards or other means of entry which allow for paying users to either lend out their cards to friends, or simply allow them to tailgate behind them providing the entry point is unmanned.

Unfortunately, this means that regular rule abiding members miss out as non-paying members bring in no revenue. Lost revenue could be used to replace out of date equipment, repair items which are showing signs of wear and tear and upgrade facilities.

There are also other risks associated with this problem, for instance if an emergency happens such as a fire, then not only will staff have no account of the person being on the property but the person them self may not know what to do or where to go.

There have also been cases in the past where unauthorised guests have stolen from other gym members, damaged equipment or committed other crimes while on the property, later leaving without a trace.

Access control
Here at Gateway we recommend two key access control solutions for dealing with unauthorised access at gyms and health centres, namely turnstiles and biometric fingerprint readers.

Tailgating is when a person sneaks behind another person who has already used their membership card or other device to gain access to a gym. This allows a non-paying person, perhaps a friend or family member, or perhaps someone unknown to use the gyms facilities, to also enter.

One of the best ways that you can prevent this is to install waist height or half height turnstiles which act as a first line of defence in stopping unwanted entry. They stop a non-paying member from gaining access without either being approved by security, using an access token or by providing their fingerprints.

Biometric Fingerprint Readers

Fingerprint readers not only solve the problem of unauthorised access to non-members, they also prevent current members from lending their cards out. New members are asked to provide their fingerprints during sign-up and then simply press their finger against the reader to gain access. Everyone’s fingerprint is individual so there is no way that an unauthorised, non paying guest can gain access. Additionally, unlike membership cards or key fobs your fingerprints cannot be lost!

Here at Gateway we provide free feasibility surveys to assess your requirements and non-obligation quotes. Click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure.

How perimeter security can help protect historical sites in the UK

clip_image002Here in the UK we are blessed with a plethora of fantastic historical sites from beautiful country parks and houses to impressive forts and castles which all play a key part in our national heritage. With this in mind, it is important that historical sites are adequately protected from crime.

What are the risks?
The threat against our heritage is not one to be taken lightly, in Scotland alone more than £75,000 has recently been spent repairing vandalism at historic landmarks such as Glasgow Cathedral and Stirling Castle. While in North Yorkshire, the 3,000 year old Scarborough Castle was subjected to vandalism and arson twice in one week.

Aside from vandalism, there is also the risk of theft, be it historical items like statues and artefacts or cash and high value goods kept in the property.

Sadly the result of heritage crime often ends up in money that should be spent on restoration or improving facilities and safeguarding historical sites for future generations is instead diverted away to dealing with the impact of a crime.

What can be done?
Choosing the security measures that fit your heritage site are essential, as what works for one property may not work so well for another. However perimeter security is a good place to start.

This means securing entry points and vulnerable spots around your property and ensuring that your security equipment makes criminals think twice about targeting your property. Whether that is turnstiles to prevent unpaid entry, gates for out-of-hours security or rising kerbs to prevent a vehicle getaway in the event of a burglary.

Here at Gateway Automation we offer well engineered and quality perimeter security systems manufactured to your custom specifications. This means that we can create bespoke equipment that is in keeping with your site, ensuring it retains a welcoming appeal to the general public.

If you aren’t sure where to start then we can provide you with a free-no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to create a tailored plan. To find out more call us on 01522 682255 or click here to arrange a call back.

Safeguarding railways against trespass and vandalism

clip_image002Trespass and mindless vandalism of railroad property is not only a costly annoyance but also the cause of many fatalities in the UK. Network Rail’s latest figures put the number of trespass related deaths at 18, and a further 280 of which were suspected suicide. The consequences of which extend beyond just loss of life but also inflict trauma on train operators and passengers and often cause extended delays while the scene is investigated, dealt with and train drivers are replaced.

Education of course plays a key part in preventing vandalism and trespass of railway sites. TV campaigns, school visits and advertising campaigns can all help, particularly during the school holidays when many children and teenagers are left unsupervised.

Why does trespass happen?
The dangers of trespass on railways should not be underestimated. There is of course the danger of being hit by an oncoming train or dragged under a train, the risk of being injured in a place where you are unlikely to be discovered and of course the risk of electrocution by both overhead power lines and power lines on the ground. So with that in mind what are some of the reasons that trespass happens? They can include the following:

  • To commit vandalism and criminal damage
  • To take a shortcut to a destination
  • To pick up a lost object like a football or shoe
  • To chase after an animal who has ended up on the tracks
  • To discover a new place to ride a bicycle, motorbike or other vehicle
  • To hunt or shoot
  • To steal valuable materials such as copper
  • To obstruct trains or fire missiles at passing trains

What does the law say?
The law is very clear in the treatment of trespass on railways and offenders risk fines, imprisonment and criminal records. Criminal damage has a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, trespassers risk heavy fines and trespassing children face fines billed to their parents. Throwing missiles and obstructing trains carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

What can railway networks do to protect their property and prevent trespass?
Railway networks can use a mixture of chain link fences, barbed wire, barriers, posts, bollards and natural vegetation to prevent access to their sites. This acts as a deterrent not only to criminals but also any dog walkers and children who might not realise they are close to railway tracks.

Here at Gateway Automation we offer well engineered quality perimeter security systems manufactured to your custom specifications. We can provide you with a free no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to access your perimeter security requirements. To find out more call us on 01522 682255 or click here to arrange a call back.

What kind of impact does a burglary have on a business?

reception-170640_640A recent study by Victim Support showed that half of all business owners in the UK had been targeted by burglary, vandalism or other types of crime. Many of these business owners are targeted more than once and the damage can often go beyond just broken windows and locks.

The financial impact
The financial cost is one of the most obvious but also most alarming aspects of a burglary. When a criminal breaks in to a commercial property, they will likely cause lots of damage as they make their way in, smashing windows and doors, or causing damage to internal features, such as by ripping a safe from the wall. The cost of replacing windows, doors, locks and other damages can be very expensive and unfortunately you may find that your insurance does not cover it all. However, every day that you remain closed you are losing money so it is important to get everything back to normal as quickly as possible. Depending on the nature of your business there may also be damage to your reputation, especially if sensitive data or items that belonged to someone else were stolen.

The emotional impact
A burglary can be very traumatic for everyone in your business. As the owner of the business you may feel very shaken and disturbed by the incident. Many business owners say that a burglary feels like a very personal attack.

Your employees may also share your feelings and concerns. If they spend lots of time in the building then they may well feel unsettled for a period of time, especially as many businesses are burgled multiple times. So it’s important that action is taken following a break in.

In order to develop a comprehensive strategy for warning off burglars, you should have a risk assessment of your premises. This will highlight any weaknesses and provide you with recommendations of ways to improve your security and avoid repeating the distress that comes with a burglary.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide free, no-obligation quotations and feasibility surveys in order to find the best solution to security needs. For more information please visit our website or call us on 01522 682 255.

5 building security mistakes commonly made by businesses

clip_image002When criminals case a property, they are looking for an easy target where they can easily break in, go unnoticed while they are there and return with the maximum spoils. So what are some of the most common security mistakes that business make?

Poor lighting
A well lit property is in an instant deterrent to opportunistic criminals as it increases their chances of being detected by passers by. Security lighting can help to keep your building well light, and you could consider leaving lights on somewhere within the property out-of-hours so that it appears as if someone is there.

Failing to lock up important areas or protect valuable assets and information
Whether it’s expensive IT equipment, power tools, money or sensitive data, almost every business will have something worth protecting. A common mistake that businesses make is to think that security ends with exterior protection. You should have a system in place which means that anything valuable or sensitive is locked away or well hidden whenever possible.

Failing to prevent vehicular access out of hours
A criminal who can gain access to your property with their vehicle will be able to get away much faster than they would on foot. So it is important to restrict access, where possible. Gateway’s Automatic Rising Kerbs are a secure method of preventing a fast getaway from taking place.

No physical deterrents
When a burglar targets a property, they will first weigh up the perceived financial reward with the chances of being caught. Physical deterrents are there to tip the balance in your favour. By installing comprehensive security around you entry points such as fencing and tough Automatic Security Gates you can make sure your property is on the no-go list for criminals.

Securing your building with keys
While physical keys are the normal method of gaining access to a property they aren’t without their downsides. A physical key can be copied easily by anyone who desires to do so and they can leave you with an expensive headache should they be lost and you need to change the locks. Rather than rely on physical keys, modern businesses should be looking at alternative methods such as Access Control Equipment.

Gateway Automation can provide free, no obligation quotes and feasibility surveys for your premises. To get us to assess your security requirements, please contact us here.

10 ways to protect your premises against metal theft

clip_image002While the number of reported scrap metal thefts in the UK has dropped in recent years thanks to the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, scrap metal continues to be a valuable source of income for criminals.

The export value of lead, copper and other metals encourages criminals to regularly break into premises such as schools, construction sites, churches, offices, abandoned buildings and other public sites to strip metals and later sell them on to scrap dealers for a significant fee.

At its height, scrap metal thieves were targeting as many as 1,000 commercial properties in the UK every week. So how can businesses and commercial sites protect themselves?

  1. Have a risk assessment of your premises to work out which parts of your site hold valuable scrap metal and ensure that they are protected and monitored
  2. Make sure that any surplus of metal is hidden from view, or even painted a different colour so that it is camouflaged from thieves
  3. Install lighting in areas where criminals could potentially gain access
  4. Install CCTV as a deterrent and to aid in conviction after any incident
  5. Install heavy duty gates as a minimum. Choose from swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates.
  6. Every site is different, but for those with heavy traffic throughout the day you might want to consider a turnstile, or an automatic barrier controlled by push-buttons, tokens, proximity cards or by on site manned guards.
  7. Property markers and signage, including invisible marking agents, are helpful in identifying metal that has been stolen and returning it to the owner
  8. Apply anti-climb paint to areas that allow thieves to access your roofing, for example drain pipes and guttering
  9. Clear away any bins, wheelbarrows, ladders or other moveable items which could be used by an intruder to gain access
  10. Encourage neighbouring businesses and nearby residents to report any suspicious activity to the police such as vans or workmen visiting outside of normal hours.

By employing as many of these techniques as possible you should be able to turn your business premises into a fortress which deters criminal activity and reduces the chances of your building being stripped by scrap metal thieves.

Whether your business operates from commercial, industrial or retail premises, Gateway Automation provides a variety of security solutions and can provide you with a free, no obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your security requirements. Alternatively, you can download a brochure here or for more advice on securing your businesses property from crime please contact us here.