As the nights are rapidly drawing in and and ahead of the clocks going back on Sunday 25 October, we are prepared to see the usual increase in demand for our services. In almost 30 years of operating it’s unfortunate that clients inevitably need increased security to protect their homes and businesses during the winter months.
Also now with police priorities changing, ensuring the correct levels of security are in place is vital to avoid falling foul of criminals, who may well take advantage of the longer, darker nights.
Police also report an increase in burglaries, robberies and vehicle crime and although the recent results of the Crime Survey of England and Wales show that the number of crimes are decreasing, businesses and home-owners cannot afford to be complacent. Aside from the more obvious crimes, the darker nights can also provide perfect cover for activity such as anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, which can be just as problematic as more serious crime.
We would always advise that both business and home owners don’t just make themselves aware of the increased threat, but to carry out some simple checks and measures. Just because you’ve not been a victim of crime, does not mean this will always be the case.
Bipin Joshi, Managing Director, says “ensuring doors and windows are locked and secure is an obvious first step to help protect a property. Also leaving lights switched on both in and outside can act as a deterrent; as are security lights which are activated by movement. We’d recommend however combining these practices with a service such as a mobile patrol or CCTV monitoring which provides an extra layer of security and peace of mind.”
Shield carries out free, no obligation risk assessments for customers, using its years’ of security experience and knowledge to provide affordable, tailored solutions to all sizes of home and business.
News out today has revealed that we may no longer see a police officer after certain crimes such as burglaries.
This announcement comes in the light of yet more budget cuts to our police forces; but Sara Thornton, head of the new National Police Chiefs’ Council, says that focus has also switched from less ‘traditional’ crimes.
Crime statistics have revealed a drop in burglaries and car crimes, but crimes such as sex offences, terrorism and cybercrime is on the increase and it’s these areas where policing will need to prioritise and focus its efforts. Police budgets have been cut by 25% over the last four years and are set to be cut even further.
Despite these statistics, these ‘traditional’ crimes haven’t disappeared so this announcement is worrying news. It would appear now that the onus will be more on the public to further protect their businesses and homes, so that if you were to fall prey, you know you’ve done all you can to prevent a crime. It seems we can no longer rely on the police for the levels of support we might have previously been used to.
At Shield we have been helping our clients protect and secure their properties for almost 30 years and our expertise and tailored approach to security means we deliver the right measures every time.
We view our clients’ success as our success and seek to create and maintain lasting relationships based on trust and shared objectives. We don’t wait for clients’ alarms to ring, but adopt a proactive approach to security issues; preventing potential issues from occurring in the first place. We also mitigate the damage caused when unavoidable problems do arise with a 24/7/365 dedicated service. By using tried and tested security management techniques, such as risk analysis, our experts are able to target and help reduce the threat of crime, loss and damage.
From key holding to mobile patrols, through to remote CCTV monitoring, our extensive portfolio of services mean there are solutions for all budgets. We take a tailored approach with each client, knowing that one size does not fit all and work with you to determine the best protection levels for your business or home.
We offer a FREE risk assessments to enable us to provide all clients with a bespoke solution to their security needs. If you’d like to take advantage of a risk assessment, call us on 01252 319 899 today and speak to Amy Lock.
No matter who you are, where you are from or what your financial situation, you will at some point have wondered if your home is safe. It is a natural human disposition to worry about such things. Is it burglary-proofed? Is there enough deterrent to stop an intruder? Are your belongings safe inside when you are not home? Are windows and doors properly secured?
Of course, we are all aware that the minimum protection we can have without any cost whatsoever is to make sure we don’t plaster our plans all over social media, keys and valuables are not in plain sight from windows and windows and doors are properly locked and secured. Yet, we can take that one step further and ensure an alarm system is in place. However, you may then ask yourself ‘what is the point of an alarm that rings but no-one is on hand to react to it?’ In this instance you could take the plunge and pay for a monitored alarm system. If your premises are business-based, then you could even consider key holding as well, to ensure there is a safe, guarded spare set of keys available to you at all times.
These things would all fall under the entry-level security protection umbrella. However, how many people actually seek out and pay for this off their own back? From our experience in the industry, we have gathered information that gives the consensus that the majority are reactive in installing security measures, rather than proactive. Most people do not consider security until after their premises has been compromised. Only then do they seriously consider paying money to ensure their premises are secure. However, the age-old question rears its ugly head once again – is it too late?
This is when hindsight would be a benefit. Much like anything of this nature, security is a safeguard, an insurance, an all-round protection against burglary. In the insurance simile it works particularly well in that we do not enjoy handing over our hard-earned cash for it, but we are overwhelmingly glad we did when the time comes to make a claim. You are comforted in knowing you are protected.
There is a myth that securing your property properly is expensive, but we beg to differ. With the benefit of hindsight you might wish you had, but if you are proactive enough to take measures before your property is compromised, the peace of mind that protection offers far outweighs the burden of any costs incurred.
A security officer at Aldershot-based Shield Security Services Limited has won the prestigious Security Officer of Distinction Award for his performance, at the Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) Pacesetters Achievement Awards ceremony, which took place on 20 May at the Royal Windsor Racecourse.
30 year old Dipak Ale, one of Shield Security’s mobile patrol officers, was nominated for the industry award, which recognises those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and also the vital role played by security officers in the safety and prosperity of the country.
Nominated by a Shield Security client, Dipak was awarded for his actions upon discovering a suicide during a routine site patrol. Dipak’s performance in alerting and helping the emergency services, combined with the professional manner in which he acted throughout the incident, led to unstinted praise from the client, police and paramedics.
All officers receiving the 2015 award were nominated by a client, endorsed by their employer and ultimately selected by a judging panel made up of a number of industry representatives.
As a member of ACS Pacesetters, Shield Security sits in the top 10% of benchmarking and achievement levels set by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme, which regulates the private security industry throughout the UK.
“Dipak has worked at Shield for just over a year and this award is testament to his dedication. We are extremely proud of Dipak and his win, this is a great recognition for him”, said Bipin Joshi, Managing Director, Shield Security Services Ltd. “All our staff are trained to the highest security standards, but also are supported and encouraged to provide our clients with a personalised, pro-active service. We believe it’s this approach that ensures our guards are of the highest calibre, who are trained and ready to deal with every eventuality.
Despite the Government declaring that numbers of property-centric crimes are falling, they still accounted for 70% of all Police-recorded crime throughout 2013/2014. Aside from that and regardless of stats however, a home break in is one of those harrowing experiences that we all dread. Unfortunately for some, it happens all too often.
First things first – we would all do well to never underestimate the thinking criminal. Burglars will spend large amounts of time researching and scanning for properties that aren’t overlooked at the front or rear, or houses without overt alarm systems or CCTV cameras. They will even target properties with single glazing and ones that suggest poor double-glazing.
It might sound obvious, but one initial and steadfast rule to live by is to make sure ALL doors and windows are locked and secure – it is amazing how many people (especially those living in villages) do not think this is necessary. If you are travelling, let a trusted neighbour know that you are going to be away. Also ensure any outbuildings are locked and properly secured.
Following a simple set of home-protection rules may help reduce the chances of your home falling victim to burglary. Remember:
In the past, burglars have admitted to Police that a visible security system – such as an alarm box – can act as a deterrent. Also, a dog is a fantastic scare tactic – the majority of burglars will actively avoid a property that they think might hold a canine security system. Based on this (even if you do not have a dog) it might be well worth investing in a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign or two. You can never be too careful!
Before the advent of the Internet and social media sites, burglars would scan obituary columns to deceive grieving families. In the modern era however, they can very easily and very anonymously use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms as tools in gathering digital intelligence.
Such sites, if used in the wrong way, act as a loud and clear advert to potential thieves. Your personal pages, if not secure, give them far more intelligence on your whereabouts than you might think!
Based on this, avoid pitfalls such as tagging you and your family/friends into airport lounges, or sharing your location on Facebook while you are in another country. Only share photos with your friends and family once you have returned home safely. Once a burglar is fully (and easily) aware that you are out of the country, this increases your chances of burglary. God forbid, but in the event that this does happen, burglars are even more likely to spend more time in your home to maximize their haul.
Weddings are another favourite time for burglars. To them this might mean you have bought expensive jewellery or garments. So make sure you apply restrictions on your Facebook page to friends only – do not make your content available to the wider public.
This all comes back to the adage – you cannot put a price on peace of mind. It often seems out of reach when we think of home security, but we say let that not be the case! A security provider that helps you protect your home and private possessions is invaluable. Shield Security provides a number of affordable services:
Key holding – this ensures a spare set of keys are available at all times.
Emergency response – our team can respond rapidly to intruders, fire, flood or lock out.
CCTV/Remote monitoring – supported by high-tech equipment and officers, our control room can monitor your property 24/7/365. In case of an emergency our highly trained mobile security team can provide alarm response.
We are fully aware that we as humans are not all alike, and that is why we, at Shield Security provide a cost-effective, bespoke solution for all our customers. We carry out an initial, free risk assessment at a customer’s property to provide a realistic solution for their security needs.
In terms of affordability, price is more a question of the value you attach to your home and your personal possessions within it. The majority of the population would attest that their personal belongings and memories that are attached to such items are invaluable. Would you?
We’re now weeks on from the Hatton Garden jewellery heist and it would appear that we are no further on in even beginning to understand how it could have happened.
What stands out in my mind at this stage however, is that if the company had had monitored CCTV and movement detectors, would the gang of many been quite so successful in their attempts?
Clearly we are all looking at this from an outsider’s perspective and none of us will probably ever know the full details of what went on, so we can only assume or make educated guesses.
Let’s look at some of the key points that led to the Hatton Garden operation being so successful:
It remains to be seen whether this was an inside job. The Police, who are currently under fire for their handling of the multi-million pound theft, are now releasing information including CCTV images, pictures of inside the vault and are currently appealing to partners of drilling experts to see if they are acting unusually!
The downfall of the gang will happen eventually, most likely when someone, somewhere ‘talks’ to a friend/girlfriend/partner/wife; or the temptation of a reward becomes so great.
What is clear though is that what ever security measures were in place at the property, they hadn’t been designed with the ingenuity of a professional gang in mind. With the high value of goods on the premises, we might assume security in the building to be extremely high; however this isn’t always the case.
Many companies employ security guards, deploy alarm systems, use CCTV or access control with biometrics. All of these measures ensure that no unauthorised person is able to access somewhere they are not permitted. Needless to say we cannot plan for when this type of activity might happen; more often than not it’s planned for a time when you’d least expect it!
Both businesses and homes can protect themselves with an effective system that follows protocols to protect anything of value, with measures in place which do not neglect the obvious. The Hatton Garden example really goes to show that early investment in the right kind of security for your home or business can mean the difference between someone being able to take advantage or not!
BIPIN JOSHI MSyI
Joint Managing Direct of Shield Security Services Ltd
Contact Bipin – t: +44 (0) 1252 319 899 e: Bipin.Joshi@shieldsecurity.co.uk tweet: @BipinJ
For the security conscious, it is no secret that CCTV is the most cost-effective deterrent on the market today. However, we sometimes do wonder what good it is if no one is monitoring it in real time. It is of little use checking it post-break in – the burglars will be long gone, and the damage is done.
Most de-facto, bog-standard cameras do not tend to fool security-hip intruders these days, who can invariably tell if a CCTV camera is legit or not. In the past, intruders have been known to test CCTVs by looking through windows or knocking on doors to see if they move – they are sneaky devils. Just imagine though, if when this happened on your premises, intruders were confronted with a Big-Brother-esque voice asking them what they are doing. This would surely put them off and keep your premises safe for evermore!
What Are The Benefits?
One of the main benefits of having a CCTV camera is that they can be placed anywhere for any kind of premises. We have seen them in Office blocks, farmhouses, out buildings, garages, garden sheds and even up trees. If you can get power to it, you can place it anywhere!
Of course, the physical presence of a static guard on site will provide an effective deterrent because an intruder will have to try and bypass them. However, despite sometimes being necessary, it can be more cost effective to use CCTV.
Shield CCTV offers the blessing of virtual security guards. Let’s say your CCTV is placed to cover the most vulnerable areas of your premises. These cameras are then linked via a phone line using ultra-special equipment to link to our control room. The virtual security Controllers silently watch your CCTV stream looking for any illegal activity. We can even arrange it so that a speaker is attached to the cameras, where in the event of a burglary or any suspicious activity, we can vocally challenge any intruders and put them off immediately. Shield also record what the intruders were up to and have the ability to provide evidence to the Police and the Insurance Company if required.
Not all control rooms are kitted out with these facilities and other companies offering a similar service may share their control room with many other providers. The difference in using Shield Security is that it manages its own dedicated control room 24/7 with fully trained controllers. In the event of an incident, the system will alert the controller who will then examine the footage. If there is a break-in in progress, Shield will call the Police and despatch a mobile inspector immediately. Shield also has the ability to tell the intruders that the police are on their way.
Of course, there is an annual charge depending on the premises and number of cameras used for monitoring 24/7, and If a mobile officer is sent then there is an additional charge – but this is based on an ‘as and when’ basis. Having remotely monitored CCTV is an extremely cost-effective security measure. It saves you the cost of having a physical security guard on hand, but allows you the security of having one monitoring your premises at the same time at a very reasonable cost. It’s a no-brainer.
WHAT IS KEYHOLDING?
We have all left spare sets of keys with employees or neighbours. This works to an extent, but we know that in everyday life people do go away, travel to areas with no mobile phone signal or are just too far away to respond quickly. Thus, in doing this you are relying on goodwill to ensure your assets are secured, and may spend your time away worrying about what is happening back at the office or at home.
In a nutshell, Key holding the process of relocating a set of your keys to a trusted security company which operates 24/7. The keys are stored in an electronically secure safe when you are away or in a circumstance where you will not have access to your property. Having a set of your keys safely locked away at an independent location means that whatever happens to other sets of your keys, you will still have the ability to access your property in an emergency.
Risk levels are elevated to their maximum during the periods when premises are unoccupied. Intruders have become savvy to business comings and goings and invariably use this window of opportunity to break into a property. This is when Key holding comes into its own. If you are the unfortunate victim of a break in or experience an emergency, one advantage of Key holding service is having a Mobile inspector on hand to check the property inside and out to make sure everything is in order. Shield Security Services are a telephone call away and will provide you with your secure set of keys – day or night. Peace of mind, right?
Another benefit is that Shield Security Services operate a “Key tracker” system, which requires individual user codes to access each key – which are unmarked. Authorised personnel are the only people sanctioned to electronically log keys in or out or return them safely to you. Shield keep a computerised log of all the activities regarding the key’s movements, so their every move is authorised and monitored – this eliminates any potential for human error. Authorised personnel can also help out by letting in cleaners, decorators or workmen due to carry out a repair whilst you are absent. All these activities are electronically logged to provide you with more peace of mind that your keys are safe and secure.
One other avenue to obtain optimum security is to align Shield with your alarm company. This would enable them to call Shield in an emergency, who could in turn respond immediately – this saves you the rigmarole and worry of ‘calling around the houses’ if anything untoward ever happens. This service is on a ‘pay as you play’ type basis, where you only pay for the visits made during that period – which could range from a long weekend to several months.
Key holding services are advantageous to businesses and homeowners alike and most do combine the service with other security support services such as emergency response and CCTV Remote Monitoring. It is a small price to pay for – that term again – peace of mind.
City & Guilds recently arranged an event to celebrate 10 years of working with The Dubai Police Academy.
As part of the event Shield Security were presented with a Plaque from both City and Guilds and The Dubai Police Academy to recognise their enormous contribution in providing security training to over 40,000 trainees to date.
Below are pictures of Bipin Joshi and Adil Abdel Hadi being presented with the Plaques.
Does being local mean you get a faster response from a Security Provider?
Not necessarily, there are many things to consider. For example a local provider who doesn’t operate 24/7 is highly unlikely to respond to an incident occurring out of office hours. It is much more important to understand what procedures are in place to deal with incidents and how they plan to respond.
For example Shield Securities in house 24/7 CCTV monitoring team can keep a permanent eye on your premises, wherever it may be in the world. Find out more here.
But if we are not local surely we can’t get a quick response?
No, in fact CCTV remote monitoring can provide an instant response via an audio link. For example any suspicious visitors to your site can be spoken to and asked to identify themselves and be warned off if appropriate at any time of the day.
If there is a break in or vandalism the Police can be called immediately and a mobile patrol can also be sent to secure the premises.
Is reacting to short term emergencies affected by distance?
Obviously the response in a mobile vehicle will depend on many factors on top of distance, such as the time of the day or night, road conditions and any traffic issues including diversions.
If the managed site is a long distance from the control centre, if necessary a sub-contracted provider who operates locally to the site can be on standby to assist.
How important are regular visits from the Security Provider?
This is absolutely vital, so ensure the security provider you are looking to partner are prepared to visit your site on a regular basis (no matter where they are based).
The visits to site are important because:
1) The provider will be able to meet your staff and build a rapport with people on site. This opens up a clear path of communication, which will be vital to ensure important information is shared.
2) If the security provider has their guards on site, it ensures that they can check they are dressed smartly and are on top of their work and performing as expected.
3) The provider will check that all paper work is being completed properly and any incidents are being recorded.
4) Most importantly it shows the company cares about your security and that they are constantly ensuring that they are providing the very highest service levels.
Location is a major factor to consider when choosing a Security Provider, however it is more important to understand how they operate and what services they provide. With modern technology location has become less important and there are many ways that a 24/7 365 day a year security service can be provided from a distance.
If you would like to find out more, or discuss your own security requirements then please contact one of our team on the details below.