How to prevent illegal parties and events in warehouses and industrial buildings

gateway blog 82One growing threat, particularly over the summer months, for businesses across the UK is the resurgence of unlicensed musical events in unoccupied buildings. Known as ‘raves’ or ‘free parties’ these events take place throughout the country in buildings which are typically left empty, are fairly isolated and are easy to gain access to.

Organisers of the events are known to scout for suitable locations which are normally large buildings such as warehouses or industrial premises. These types of buildings usually have access to resources such as electricity, are large enough to hold big groups of people and are isolated enough so as not to draw too much attention. However, while holding these types of events away from the public may mean that there is less noise pollution, the consequences of these events for the owners and tenants of these buildings remain serious.

A recent example of this occurred in Swanley, Kent where 500 people entered an industrial unit in Marks Way, without the consent of the owner. While police were called to attend at around midnight and attendees fled the scene, the aftermath of the event caused over £30,000 worth of damage to what was a brand-new recently refurbished warehouse.

A rave at a warehouse in Croydon attracted over 3,000 young people to an empty unit at Beddington Industrial Estate which was due to be taken up by a new tenant just weeks after the event took place and caused thousands of pounds in damage.

Like many of these events, organisers asked those interested to register their details secretly online before releasing details of the location at the last minute. Typically, locations are sourced at the last minute as organisers scout around for buildings which are deemed to be isolated, with electricity and are easy to access.

In order for businesses and owners to protect their premises it is important that they make their properties as secure as possible and as unattractive to criminals as they can. This means turning off amenities like electricity and water when buildings are left empty but also making their buildings difficult to access by installing strong forms of perimeter security such as gates and barriers. If you already have these installed, then it is important to make sure that they are maintained to a high standard so that they are still effective in preventing trespass.

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

How to prevent illegal gatherings and parties on rural land

gateway blog 81Organisations such as the CLA have ramped up campaigning efforts in recent years to encourage farmers and other owners of empty buildings to keep their premises secure. This is due in part to a resurgence in illegal gatherings for unlicensed musical events – often known as ‘raves’ or ‘free parties’.

“Illegal raves cause a great deal of disruption to local communities, with the resulting mess causing harm to both wildlife and the environment. These illegal gatherings can also create unnecessary problems for landowners, who could fall victim to considerable clean-up costs and expensive repairs to outbuildings,” explained CLA President, Henry Robinson.

Illegal raves often occur on private land that is dormant or poorly protected, meaning that the organisers of these events can hold their events unnoticed by land owners. Bringing their own sound systems, the events will often go on until the early hours of the morning at which point revellers will often leave behind all manner of mess and damage costing land owners thousands of pounds to clear up and repair.

An illegal rave in 2017 which took place in the Cambridgeshire countryside between the villages of Arrington and Longstowe caused terrible damage to the land that the party-goers occupied. The farmer in charge of the land complained that rubbish and glass had been strewn all over the site – a serious problem as glass could potentially damage his machinery, injure livestock and become lodged in hay bales meant for sale. While policers officers were called to respond to the event, it took many hours for the event to be brought to a safe conclusion and for everyone to leave.

Another event near Darlington caused a farmer to complain that an event attracting up to 500 attendees caused him over £70,000 worth of damages after an all-night party resulted in broken glass, gas canisters and cans littered across his field as well as contamination of the corn in his barn which meant it could no longer be sold.

Police officers and the CLA have both recommended that the best way to tackle illegal raves and free parties is early intervention. This means informing officers of any intelligence that a rave may be taking place illegally sometime in the future, as officers can find it much more difficult to shut down a rave once it has started.

The best way to prevent illegal gatherings is to cut off access to both the organisers and attendees. As many of the people going to the events will travel by car, it is critical that owners of farmland find a way to limit access to their land to authorised vehicles only, wherever possible.

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

How a strong perimeter can prevent fly-tipping on your property

gateway blog 80Fly tipping is one of the biggest annoyances for land owners. Not only does it look unsightly, cause damage to property and local wildlife, it can also incur a heavy financial cost to owners of land who have to clear up the mess left behind. Here we will at look at some ways you can prevent your premises from becoming a target for fly tippers.

The first method of securing your property from fly-tippers is to perform a risk assessment. If trespassers can’t access your site, then they can’t occupy it or leave waste there. A risk assessment can help to highlight any vulnerabilities in your site such as areas which have no security, or areas where security can be easily bypassed, such as old or faulty gates and fences.

Waste has to be transported and for large amounts vehicles are needed to move it. You can prevent vehicles from gaining access to your site by having height restrictors installed. Height restrictive barriers are often chosen by councils, land owners and private companies as a way of preventing HGV’s and Motorhomes from accessing their sites. Our GA5600 provides an ideal way to prevent unathorised access, it is a durable and reliable restriction barrier and is available as a single, or double leaf. Click here for further details: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/barriers/height-restrictor/ga5600-height-restrictor/.

Another method of prevent vehicular access is to use an Automatic Rising Kerb. Our GA8000 model utilises high quality hydraulic technology to provide ultimate security against unathorised traffic.

Gates are of course one of the staples of perimeter security and provide a strong physical and mental deterrent to would be fly-tippers. Here at Gateway we provide three key types of gates which include swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates.

Finally, barriers can also play a key role in keeping out unwanted vehicles and pedestrians. They can be controlled either manually, or through other means like push-buttons, tokens, proximity cards and CCTV. Click here to find out more about our barrier selection: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/barriers.

While some waste can be left behind by ‘fly-by-night’ criminals looking to offload or traders trying to get rid of business waste, serious damage can be caused by criminals looking to spender a longer period of time at your premises. This is why it is important to not only make your premises look highly-secured but also that if your premises are vacant that you make them as unhospitable as is possible. This means turning off access to electricity, water and other amenities so that your site offers very little to trespassers.

No matter the size or nature of your businesses or site, we can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your security requirements. For more information on any of the security options above, or for further advice on how to protect your business premises from criminals, please contact us here or call us on 01522 682 255.

Turnstiles – an alternative to manned security

gateway blog 79One of the favoured options for perimeter access among UK businesses is that of turnstiles. They provide not only a robust and secure method of controlling the entry and exit of employees and visitors on to a site but also reduce the need for costly security personnel.

Where turnstiles come into their own, is their ability to prevent tailgating. While your typical door can quite easily be fitted with access control equipment like locks, keypads and other more complicated digital entry tools, they cannot control how long that door stays open and can’t stop someone from quickly entering behind someone else.

The problem of tailgating can of course be solved by employing full time manned guards and reception staff to process any visitors. However, the question often arises as to how practical this is in terms of cost to employ several guards rotating shifts to cover the hours your premises are open. Security guards are quite often the number one security related cost at commercial premises.

Instead, a better solution tends to be to install robust turnstiles with anti-pass back features that prevent tailgaters and the ‘passing back’ of any security cards or fobs used for entry. What’s more, these high-tech and robust barriers provide an effective deterrent to opportunistic criminals who might otherwise take their chances on trying to force entry.

Here at Gateway we provide a variety of turnstile solutions. Waist & half height turnstiles offer a stylish and modern looking security solution for protecting a site, allowing customers to feel safe but never intimidated by security measures.

They can be integrated with a number of different access control options including proximity cards, tokens, keypad entry and voice/video intercom control and can be customised to meet your needs.

We offer 4 different styles of waist & half height turnstiles including the TriFlo console, TriFlo Premier, TriFlo Sentry and Rotogate SI as well as the GA4000FH Full Height Turnstile.

We also 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.

Protecting the UK’s critical water infrastructure

protecting the uk's critical water infastructureThe preservation of the UK’s water, waste treatment and collection systems are essential to the smooth running of the country and the economy. However, in light of increasing terrorist attacks in recent years around the world, securing these sites is now more important than ever.

Terrorists aim to cause maximum disruption and fear with an attack, which makes attacking the UK’s infrastructure a prize target. Water is a fundamental resource and without an abundance of safe water to access we face serious risks to human welfare, as well as disruption to businesses, hospitals, schools and other critical elements of the UK’s infrastructure.

Across the many water sources in the UK including wells, lakes, streams, reservoirs and rivers, and waste treatment works there needs to be strict security protocols as well as guidelines and crisis strategies to follow to ensure that the UK’s water supply is protected from terrorist threats and that the infrastructure can be sustained if an attack compromises it.

If terrorists are able to successfully infiltrate UK water sites then the potential risk is that they contaminate those water sources with toxic chemicals such as heavy metals, insecticides, industrial chemicals, toxins, biological agents or war agents. Any contamination could then pass through major pipelines and make its way to the public causing mass casualties.

While attacks on water infrastructure are less common than other forms of terrorist attacks, there have been at least 15 incidents since 2002. These include a 2008 attack in Virginia where a man was arrested trying to poison the water supply system with cyanide and a 2010 incident in Durham, England when two men were convicted of trying to poison water sources with ricin. Indeed, documents sized during the operation to assassinate Osama Bin Laden revealed plans for poisoning water resources, further proving that it is important to stay vigilant.

The first place to start when it comes to defending the UK’s water infrastructure is perimeter security. When organisations install strong perimeter security it will prevent unauthorised groups or individuals from ever gaining access to their site in the first place, stopping them from carrying out an attack.

Throughout the country there are many public water sources that are easily accessible, as well as private sites. Every site has its own unique features, so a comprehensive 360-degree approach should be employed that includes a combination of solutions like heavy-duty gates, bollards, barriers, rising kerbs, fencing, CCTV, thermal imaging and manned guarding.

Strong perimeter security can act as a deterrent to terrorists seeking to gain entry to a site, while interior protections can be used to limit access to individuals who have been granted access, so that they are only able to visit the places you are sure they need to go. For pedestrians, access can be limited through tools such as keypads, biometrics and fobs, while traffic can be controlled through automatic barriers, bollards and rising kerbs that ensure traffic can only go in the specified directions.

It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to deciding which security strategies are going to be most effective at a site, which is why it is important to begin with a risk assessment. Here at Gateway Automation we can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your perimeter security requirements. To find out more please contact Gateway Automation on 01522 682255. Alternatively, our brochure can be downloaded here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

Protecting museums and galleries with access control equipment

protecting museums and galleries with access control equipmentIn 1994, the world-famous Munch painting ‘The Scream’ was stolen by thieves in Oslo, Norway. Two men took less than a minute to climb a ladder, smash through the window of the National Art Museum and remove the painting from the wall with wire cutters. The entire incident was caught on CCTV; however, cameras alone were never going to be enough to protect such a valuable piece of art. Such was the oversight in their security provisions that the thieves actually left a thank you note to the museum for their “poor security”.

Art gallery thefts are not uncommon, and another high-profile theft happened in 2008, when pieces by Cezanne, Degas, Monet and Van Gogh were stolen in less than 5 minutes from a gallery in Zurich. Famous pieces of art command high prices on the black market and because of this very few are ever successfully recovered, which makes it all the more important to have proper security controls in place.

They key way to ensure that a museum or art gallery is protected is to create a complex, multi-layered security system that plans for the worst eventualities, and access control equipment can play an important role. Where CCTV may simply document a crime taking place, access control equipment can actually help prevent and deter crime.

The conundrum for many gallery and museum owners is how to balance making exhibits easily accessible and appealing while still maintaining high-levels of protection. While art galleries and museums are public places and should not look like prisons, it is important that security fundamentals are not overlooked. Compromises can be found and sometimes security measures actually enhance the experience of the visitor. Barriers and turnstiles should be installed at entry and exit points around the building which can help to manage human traffic and allow security personnel to successfully monitor and check who is accessing the building. This not only helps to cut down on incidents but also reassures the public that their security is taken seriously.

What’s more, a multi-tiered privilege system must be in place which ensures that only the people who need access to certain areas of the building are given it. Museums and galleries are at high risk of so-called ‘inside jobs’ and so these types of measures are an absolute must. High risk areas where paintings, artwork and antiques are kept in storage should always be secured with access control such as biometric fingerprint readers, keypad or fob systems.

Together with other solutions like manned guarding, plainclothes supervisors, alarmed windows, motion detection, environmental sensors, glazing and vibration sensors, access control equipment can form a comprehensive security plan as detailed as the pieces of art hanging on the walls.

Gateway Automation provides a range of products including access control equipment to help businesses and individuals secure their sites against crime. 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.

How bollards can help prevent school parking problems

How bollards can help prevent school parking problemsAcross the UK, nurseries, infant schools, junior, primary and secondary schools all share one thing in common – parking problems. Parents seeking to save time on the school run by parking as closely to school entry points as possible are causing headaches for schools and local residents alike, leading to repeated calls for parents to fall in line, which seemingly fall on deaf ears.

None more so is the problem highlighted in that of busy, growing, successful schools where the number of drop-off and pick-ups increase year on year. The growing traffic to the schools means that parents are in even more of a rush to drop off their kids and do it in as little time as possible. This leads them to park in unathorised areas such as on verges and pathways and in areas that cause road blockages, obstruct traffic and block footpaths for pedestrians.

Despite the best efforts of many schools, launching safety campaigns, contacting parents by email, phone and by post as well as verbally warning repeat offenders – they have had no luck in easing the problem. Many even find that despite having double yellow lines painted and sign posts placed to warn drivers, the problem persists.

So, what can schools do to get tough on illegal parking? One key way that schools can clamp down on this problem is to consider installing bollards. Bollards such as the GA7276H operate with an electrohydraulic mechanism which means they can be raised and lowered according to need. So, if there times when, say trade vehicles, require parking by the school then you can allow them access. During times that no access is needed the bollards can be raised to prevent unauthorized parking and send a strong message to parents.

If your school is experiencing these types of problems, then please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss your options. We offer a value for money service with well-engineered quality bollards manufactured to your specific requirements. For total peace of mind, we offer nationwide maintenance contracts on our own bollards and on existing perimeter security equipment made by other manufacturers. To find out more please call us on 01522 682 255 or click here to arrange a callback.