Property Security Group Limited specialise in the hire and remote
24hr monitoring of temporary and portable intruder detection 4G, wireless,
solar and battery powered, visual verification security camera systems using
the Webeye CMS cloud platform.
Recently, we had security camera activations from two of our internal PIR-activated Webeye visual verification detectors late on a Saturday night. Two males, one wearing hi viz, were entering the substantial property which is undergoing full redevelopment and refurbishment. With the Webeye system, we had live video evidence of their progress through the building.
Entry was being made via an external road frontage where there were PIR cameras because of practical and GDPR issues, through a locked door which was previously blocked off.
We activated the two 110db sirens and strobes which stopped them in our tracks. Our 24hr control room called the local security keyholder company who were on site within 8 minutes and chased them off. Unfortunately, they lost them in the maze of the town centre so we passed the issue to the Police.
However, when we checked the property, we found that all ground floor doors and windows were wide open. There were also tools and equipment scattered with some in heaps by doors.
There was no way that the two males had done any of this – they simply did not have time. One even took off his jacket when running, so clearly was not carrying anything.
A skeleton crew had been working during the day. They all insisted that they had secured the property before leaving.
We were satisfied that the rapid reaction of the sirens and keyholder attendance had defeated the attack.
However, on the Monday morning it was reported that a substantial number of tools were missing. Telling the client that this would most likely have occurred during working hours on the Saturday, when only trusted employees were on site, was a difficult conversation, especially as some of the staff present became verbally aggressive. They insisted that they had left the site fully secure, but we had bodycam footage to prove what the guards found upon arrival.
Had the alarms not activated the conversation with the client on the Monday morning would have been much more difficult. He would have found a site where the building had been ransacked – and with doors and windows left wide open. Staff would have reported their tools missing and claimed to have left it fully secured on the Saturday close of business. And no alarm call from us. We would have been struggling with an explanation – and would certainly be on the back foot.
So, how did we detect and video the intruders?
They had come through a locked door for which the only keys were held in a key safe in the building. Previously, we had been told that it was totally secure and did not need camera cover, especially as there are public CCTV cameras right outside.
So, a few weeks earlier we visited the property and noticed bedding and household equipment, such as a kettle and microwave, in an area on one of the upper floors. Concerned that either staff were secretly living there or that there were squatters, we advised the client. He had them removed immediately.
But we were worried that something, of which he was not aware, was being carried out behind his back. For our own peace of mind, we deployed some discreet internal cameras linked to our Webeye cloud platform. Nobody knew they were there. And it was two of these cameras, in places that no-one knew of, that activated and triggered our response.
That saved us from false accusations that our system had failed the client. He doesn’t seem to want to countenance the possibility that he has some employees that he cannot trust – but he knows that we are on the case. More importantly, so does his staff.
In conclusion, I am not suggesting that there should be covert cameras hidden on all sites. But, over the years I have seen many security measures “accidentally” disabled by site employees. Visiting sites regularly to check and randomly re-position sensors or cameras – and adding the occasional hidden camera – is something security companies should consider.
If you would like Property Security Group (www.psgroup.uk) to give you peace of mind by protecting your construction site, vacant property, private airfield, building site scaffolding, country estate or rural outbuildings call us now on 0207 112 4997
Property Security Group Limited are accredited by Construction Line and Associate Members of The Scaffolding Association. All services are fully insured and all staff are licensed by the SIA.
The author of this article, which contains his personal views and not necessarily representing those of the company, is John Hicks, Security Consultant www.jhicks.co.uk with nearly 50 years with a passion for effective property and security management.
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