Tower Block Risk Assessments We at Shield Security wish to . . .
Tower Block Risk Assessments
We at Shield Security wish to pass our deepest condolences to those affected by the tragic events of the fire at Grenfell Tower in West London. Shield Consultancy is in the business of preventing these things happening or minimising risk as much as possible.
Whilst the investigation in the cause is going on, and this will take months, it is important to remember that there are hundreds of other tower blocks spread the length and breadth of the UK and urgent action needs to be taken to carry out risk assessments on all of them. Even if these were carried out before, they need to be revised again so that central government’s Housing Dept, as well as the relevant council department, holds a database of an updated version on each one.
In addition to this, there needs to be a national plan to respond to such emergencies. Our Emergency Services are brilliant and in the case of any Fire, the Fire Service needs to get on with the job but the Police need to control the crowds whilst the Ambulance Services look after the injured. More than that, what the Grenfell Tower fire has highlighted is the fact that there was no effective co-ordination from those responsible for the Tower to provide emergency aid as well as information to those seeking news. The big question is, do other housing associations or local councils have a plan in place that kicks in to deal with such tragic events?
Having a report listing, any shortcomings need to be acted upon and somebody needs to be responsible nationally to ensure the work is carried out.
The Health & Safety aspects of such buildings, which sometimes can be vandalised (Any sprinkler system could be switched off as a result of vandalism on the mechanism or fire hoses being interfered with) Regular patrols by a government official, an external provider or even responsible tenants could highlight these and preventative measures taken.
This is a monumental task requiring the local councils and central government to dig deep into their pockets as cost is involved. Make sure you are asking questions of your local authority and council and let’s build a system that is safer and better managed!
Shield Security Services Limited has been awarded accreditation from Alcumus SafeContractor for achieving excellence in health and safety in the workplace.
Alcumus SafeContractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises extremely rigorous standards in health and safety management amongst contractors. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.
Employing 100+ people, Shield Security Services Limited is principally involved in the Security sector, specialising in static security, mobile and Key-holding and response services and Remote monitored CCTV, most recent clients have included major players such as, Knights Frank, Colliers, MJ Mapp, Capita Property Services etc.
The company’s application for SafeContractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business. SafeContractor accreditation will enhance the company’s ability to win new contracts, and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by all stakeholders: our employees, customers and contractors.
“Shield Security Services Limited understands the importance of adopting good risk management in the provision of services. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector. SafeContractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”
Shield Security head office is an official drop off point for the Eagle Radio’s “Christmas Toy Appeal 2016”!
Address: Shield House, 294 High St, Aldershot GU12 4LT
We encourage all our employees, customers and the public at large to bring in a toy to our drop off at our office.
Eagle Radio’s Toy Appeal is back for 2016!
Once again we are asking you to help us make Christmas special for disadvantaged and less fortunate children across Surrey and North East Hampshire.
As in previous years, more than 75 charities are set to benefit.
We are asking you to drop off new, unwrapped gifts for children and teenagers to one of our dedicated drop-off points.
Toy Appeal Boxes are now accepting donations until the 19th of December* when Eagle and Santa’s helpers will be collecting the toys ready for Christmas.
*for businesses that are closed on weekends, the cut-off date will be Thursday 15th December.
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.