Security solutions for underground car park access

security solutions for underground car park accessModern apartment blocks have become an increasingly common sight in cities across the UK over the last 10-20 years. With space in big cities coming at a premium, many developments are choosing to build up, offering a more European style of living to home-owners and renters. Many of these are keen to avoid long commutes to work from the suburbs and so are choosing to opt for inner city living and the practical benefits that it offers them as opposed to traditional houses and bungalows.

As competition rises in this market, developers are feeling the pressure to provide a greater number of amenities to would-be tenants and buyers. Smart home appliances, CCTV and hi-speed fibre optic broadband are among some of the most sought-after features. However, also high on their list of most-wanted amenities is adequate car parking facilities, which has led to many apartments now being built with underground car parks.

Managing access to underground car parks

It is important in order to protect the vehicles of residents that access to car parks is effectively restricted to residents and staff, as well as allowing some form of access to delivery drivers and emergency services when needed.

While many developers’ first instinct will be to turn to CCTV as a way of dealing with these types of security issues, it’s by no means a fool-proof form of protection. Even the best security cameras can be beaten by a well-disguised criminal, or a criminal who has been able to calculate ‘blind spots’ where cameras can’t pick them up easily.

By employing stronger perimeter security measures such as gates fitted with access control equipment and also other measures like bollards you can properly safeguard both vehicles and the contents of those vehicles from theft and burglary. It also provides a chance to restrict access to approved visitors, therefore reducing the chances of other crimes like vandalism and even arson.

Not only do access controls and perimeter security methods provide help with protecting against crime but they can also act as a selling point for prospective residents, particularly those with high-value vehicles who are looking for strong and formidable security to protect their purchases.

Here at Gateway Automation we provide free feasibility surveys to assess your requirements and also provide non-obligation quotes. Click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure and take a look at our impressive range of access control equipment.

Lock down your offices with biometric security

lock down your offices with biometric securitySome types of businesses are naturally more attractive to criminals than others, and so for those companies, security options are always at the forefront of what they do. Of course, this varies from business to business, and a bank or a shopping centre will typically have very different protocols in place to a restaurant or an office-based business. Unfortunately, far too many business owners wrongly assume that their businesses are safe from crime right up until the time they are targeted. Here we will look at how office-based businesses in particular can safeguard their people, information and assets in the face of ever-rising crime rates.

One of the biggest threats to office-based businesses is that of theft. In a recent survey as many as two-thirds of employees admitted to stealing low-cost items like stationary from their employers and a high number went even further than that, admitting to stealing electronic items and expensive materials. An obvious but largely underused way to combat this type of employee theft is to lock down specific areas such as stock cupboards or equipment storage areas with access control equipment. This means only trusted parties can access those materials.

While a degree of theft can come from your own employees acting poorly, theft can also come from outside your own building. Opportunistic thefts or planned attacks can take place should your building appear to be an easy target or the goods inside of high enough value to take a risk. Access control equipment like biometric entry controls, turnstiles and gates can effectively lock down your offices against these types of risks.

Another threat that businesses face in the modern world is that of data security. Physical hard-copy materials that contain sensitive information such as financial data or personal details can prove very valuable to criminals. In fact, this type of crime costs the UK as much as £3.3 billion year on year.

Businesses that fail to take strong steps to protect the information of their clients and customers can face damaging consequences. Should data be wrongly procured they can face fines of up to £500,000 from the Information Commissioners Office. As well as having strong data security protocols in place, businesses should ensure that confidential materials are securely stored, and once again only trusted parties should be given access.

Are you interested in finding out more? Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here:

How to improve security at a rural business site

how to improve security at a rural business siteDid you know that rural crime costs the UK around £44.5 million every year? These shocking figures are a real concern for businesses based in the countryside, but many businesses don’t know where to start. Here we look at what can be done to bolster security at rural sites.

Businesses located in the rural community are by nature more vulnerable than those located in more urban areas. Pedestrian traffic is typically lower which means less chance of someone spotting and reporting something suspicious.

Farming insurance organization NFU Mutual have been outspoken in their encouragement for businesses to take seriously the threat of crime and ramp up their on-site security measures. Commenting, rural affairs specialist Tim Price said: “From the South East of England to the North of Scotland we’re seeing brazen criminals stealing cars, 4x4s, tractors, quad bikes and tools”. So how can businesses located in these communities properly defend themselves?

While it is good practice to have a CCTV system in place at a rural site for monitoring purposes, it will not necessarily prevent a crime from taking place and besides, even the best security cameras can be beaten by a well disguised criminal. However, a strong security gate is one method of preventing a criminal from ever gaining access to your site in the first place. Swing gates, sliding gates and bi-folding gates are just some of your options.

Depending on the nature of your businesses you might have suppliers and customers visiting you throughout the day. If this is the case, then you need to be careful that the people visiting are who they say they are. Limit access around your site to sensitive areas and double check credentials. One way to limit pedestrian access is to use turnstiles which can be controlled through use of a keypad, proximity cards, tokens or an intercom access.

Vehicular access in particular will sometimes need to be restricted. Many rural crimes such as machine and equipment theft are carried out by a ram raid and criminals make their getaway in cars or vans. By installing tools like bollards and automatic rising kerbs you can put the brakes on their escape and they may act as a deterrent to criminals making them second guess whether targeting your business is worth the risk.

Are you interested in finding out more? Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here:

Preventing solar farm theft

preventing solar farm theftWith global warming firmly on the agenda of British consumers for many years now, renewable energy is one of the UK’s fastest growing industries. The renewable energy market offers great opportunity for those interested in harnessing its power and many farm owners are converting large areas of previously agricultural land into solar farms.

However, unfortunately growing in tandem with solar farms has been a rise in agricultural theft, with some solar farms targeted by criminals. NFU Mutual stated in a recent report that last year rural crime cost the UK a total of £44.5m and the level of crime is “rising at its fastest rate since 2010”.

One example of devastating solar panel theft comes from Casewick Park, Lincolnshire. In March 2018, thieves stole around £50,000 worth of solar panels and inverters from a rooftop installation. Police reported their suspicions that a truck or large van would have had to have been used due to the sheer weight of all the components stolen in the raid.

Elsewhere, in Stratford thieves targeted a site at Drayton Manor Farm where hi-tech solar panels worth upwards of £45,000 were stolen. Once again, the police suspected that thieves must have used a lorry to steal the parts.

It was reported that Hampshire police were recently investigating a total of six incidents across Hampshire which included theft and criminal damage across solar farms in the area.

So how can we tackle the problem of solar farm theft? One way to do so is to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to make a quick get-away.

Using perimeter gates, fences or automatic rising kerbs can all prevent unauthorised access to vehicles, so too can automatic gates.

Whereas many burglaries are unplanned and opportunistic, the size and weight of solar panels and equipment often means that the crimes are planned in advance. This means that a site which is well secured is less likely to fall victim.

Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here:

How height restrictive barriers ensure a happy experience for shoppers

how height restrictive barriers ensure a happy experience for shoppersMany car park operators and owners have experienced problems with high sided vehicles such as trucks and caravans using and abusing their sites.

In public car parks such as those at retail outlets and supermarkets, car parking spaces are provided to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for customers to do their shopping. They can visit on their way home from work to do some food shopping, or pop to the shops on their lunch break in a short space of time without having to pay to park in a private car park and then walk from what is often an inconvenient location. However, when these car parks are abused it can cause problems for genuine customers who may be unable to enjoy the car park as it is intended.

Unauthorised vehicles and visitors from caravans and heavy goods vehicles that are not there to shop or visit the businesses that own these car parks not only take up vacant parking spaces for genuine customers (who may decide to shop elsewhere if they cannot get parked), but have also been known to leave behind unpleasant litter and mess which has to be cleaned up by the businesses operating the car parks.

Recent examples include a LIDL supermarket in Hull, East Yorkshire, where several caravans and large white vans set up camp in the car park, a Tesco in North Wales and an aggressive stand-off at an Asda car park in Kinmel Bay, near Rhyl.

One solution to this problem is to install height restrictor barriers which limit access to vehicles of a certain height, thereby controlling what types of vehicles can gain entry and reducing the chances of unauthorised vehicles making their way on to your site.

Gateway Automation provide a range 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 bollards can protect against ram raids

Automatic bollardsA recent news story has highlighted the important role that bollards can play in protecting businesses against crime.

Companies in Leeds have expressed worries over the security of their businesses after a series of burglaries targeted at high-end retail outlets in the city centre. A total of three separate incidents have taken place over the space of nine months, with businesses falling victim to so called ‘ram raid’ style attacks.

High end stores such as Louis Vuitton, Flannels and Rolex outlets have all fallen victim to attempted and successful raids on their stores, whereby vehicles have gained entry by driving at high speeds into the buildings, thereby breaking through any doors, windows and security rafters.

However, according to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post, retail staff working in the area have pointed to the local Hugo Boss store as an example of how businesses can protect themselves. The Hugo Boss store has several bollards placed directly in front of their store which effectively reduce the impact of any ram raid style attacks and act as a deterrent against would be thieves.

Another recent example of businesses turning to bollards as a means of protecting against vehicular attacks comes from a Waitrose store in Oxford. The Wantage branch of Waitrose announced plans to install both number-plate recognition cameras and ram-raid-proof bollards in their car park after a series of ram-raids at supermarkets across Oxfordshire where criminals stole cash machines.

Gateway Automation offer a variety of both automatic, static and anti-terrorism bollards which can be used in this way. 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.

Whether your business runs from small retail premises or a large industrial site, Gateway Automation can provide you with a free, no-obligation quotation and feasibility survey to assess your bollard requirements. To find out more please call us on 01522 682 255.

Overstretched police budgets mean businesses should act now to protect themselves

Businesses beware crime rising in the ukThe police federation has warned that funding cuts are forcing the police to make drastic changes to the way it operates. Scotland Yard has said that by 2020 they must save £400m, with the current force of 30,300 down from 32,000 and predicted to fall even further, changes are having to be made to the way that crime is investigated.

Sara Thornton who acts as chair to the National Police Chiefs’ Council has said that “real changes” are required if the police are going to be able to continue to provide services to the public with shrinking budgets and a drop off in the number of available officers and that priorities may have to adjust.

“If we’re really serious about putting a lot of effort into protecting children, for example, it might mean if you’ve had a burglary, for example, and the burglar has fled, we won’t get there as quickly as we have in the past” she explained.

These changes spell worrying news for businesses as offences like shoplifting, burglary, car crime and criminal damage are moved down the pecking order in terms of seriousness of crimes.

Tony Tester, chairman of the Dorset Police Federation, said: “It’s not uncommon for my members to report coming into duty and finding 10-15 pages of open incidents.

That equates to 100-150 incidents that couldn’t be dealt with at the time but now need allocating, which is a worrying figure to businesses who may feel alarmed and vulnerable.

Act now to keep your business safe

Considering these latest figures and warnings, it is important that businesses are able to make their buildings and sites as secure as possible and as unattractive to criminals as possible.

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.