At a time of rising crime, increases in the severity of criminal attacks and anti-social behaviour, teenage gangs and the real and present danger posed by international terrorists and home grown activists, together with the prevalent claims culture and pressure of accountability, the demand for effective security solutions is greater now than ever.
Whatever your walk of life, security in the UK today is of paramount importance. Fortunately, today’s security professionals can draw from a substantial arsenal of security options with technology providing many cost-efficient ways to improve security for any business.
Low cost options can be as simple as locks and barriers, good lighting, staff awareness training and even landscaping; whilst modern technology provides a plethora of electronic security devices such as CCTV, Access Control, Intruder Detection and integrated systems.
World events have created a need for more reliable sophisticated security systems and a demand for more knowledgeable security providers; but how do you know that you’re picking the right provider for your particular organisation or project.
Security Industry Regulation
Unfortunately, the UK electronic security industry is largely un-regulated; anyone can set up a security installation business. As a result, there are a number of companies that bring the industry into disrepute. There are also some first class companies, like CCTV Wales in Swansea, who have the knowledge and experience required to install basic CCTV and small Access Control systems as well as being able to implement and maintain larger more complex systems.
When looking for a reputable security company, one of the key guidelines is to check what accreditations the company has including the NSI (National Security Inspectorate) and the ECA (Electrical Contractors’ Association); and if the company is offering fire security then they should also be accredited by Fire Industry Association and British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).
Though you will still see many high street brands of intruder alarms adorning business and residential premises across the UK, sadly these alarms no longer address all of the security risks prevalent in this day and age. To secure today’s risk requires a more integrated approach and greater use of modern technology.
Diversity in the Security Industry
The security industry is large and diverse, covering many sectors and disciplines. There are four generally associated with electronic security systems, the most mature of which is the Intruder Alarm, which is well established and governed by well-recognised British and European Standards and Industry Codes of Practice.
Traditionally, ‘locked up’ buildings have been protected by burglar alarms but the protection of external environments such as compounds is a more complex issues. A security company that installs commercial and domestic intruder alarms may not possess the necessary expertise in external detection systems, for example.
What’s more, today many premises require 24 hour access coupled with round the clock protection which has led to the development of access control systems.
Access Control Systems
Restricting access to certain buildings and premises has always been important. At a time of increased terrorist and criminal threat, insecurity and mutual suspicion, the need to impose restrictions on the access of visitors and staff is paramount in many organisations.
A plethora of valuable equipment, the possibilities of pilfering, the ease of copying and stealing confidential information and personal safety, make Access Control a powerful asset in today’s environment.
Access Control Systems are the most efficient method of monitoring activities and limiting or permitting movement across a facility and premises and even to access IT equipment and valuable data. They can be as simple or complex as required and can provide a wealth of management information for security, Health and Safety and Human Resources and give a business owner full accountability.
Generally Access Control is used to secure doors to key areas; server rooms, plant rooms, stores, labs, etc, but can also be used to control entry /egress through barriers, turnstiles and even access to IT equipment like PCs and photocopiers. Modern Access Systems use a variety of technologies, including the latest generation biometric technology: retina scan, finger print and facial recognition through to proximity and hands-free cards and fobs or the latest Smart Cards, which extends the use of Access Control into cashless vending and car park charging.
When integrated with other security technologies, Access Control becomes a truly powerful site management tool.
CCTV Visual Surveillance Technology
CCTV is a visual surveillance technology designed for monitoring a variety of environments and activities. In the past decade, the use of CCTV has grown to unprecedented levels. Developments in technology have greatly increased its popularity over recent years. As technology has evolved, CCTV is now used not only for security, but also as a management tool assisting Health and Safety, productivity and personnel management.
Digitally recorded images are now of far greater quality. Specific footage can be recalled at the touch of a button, and systems can be integrated with local and wide area networks, allowing images to be viewed from one or more personal computers.
CCTV is also a powerful and effective crime management tool. Apart from the enormous deterrent value, CCTV has two prime objectives: –
- Proactive – monitored systems allow the spotting of potential problems and a speedy response at the correct level before they become incidents.
- Reactive – the system provides post-incident investigative material. In a car-park scenario, for example, where a car is broken into and two figures are recorded breaking the side window, it is vital for the CCTV to be able to provide identifiable images.
In order to provide an effective CCTV surveillance system solution in large or high-risk environments, it is invariably necessary to utilise both proactive and reactive CCTV.
Before a suitable CCTV System can be specified, it is essential that an initial assessment is undertaken in order to determine the system scope, objectives and requirements as well as the technical requirements.
In summary, no matter what sort of security system you feel is right for your project, it is always best to ensure that the company you work with has the experience and accreditations required to ensure you will get the best advice possible.
It is also advisable to work with one single company, like CCTV Wales, for all of your security needs including fire prevention, rather than several different companies. This approach means you will have a truly integrated approach when it comes to your security systems as well as the flexibility to change these systems in line with your own project or organisation’s developments.
CCTV Wales Operations Manager, Dan Hardman, explains how the company monitors its CCTV systems in this video:
To find out more about integrated security systems, call CCTV Wales on the number below or put in a request for a free consultation by clicking here.