But knowing which measures are going to be the most effective, isn’t always straightforward. (Simply sticking some CCTV cameras up and hoping for the best is unlikely to cut it!).
To help, here we’ve focused on two very popular commercial security solutions – mobile security patrols and manned guarding - to explain how they work, what the differences are and the type of businesses they are best suited to.
Mobile security patrols are a service that is usually provided by an external security company. They entail having a trained and SIA licensed security officer visiting the business premises at random times throughout the night. They may also visit at other times when the business is unoccupied, such as weekends or holiday shutdowns, depending on requirements.
Once on site, the security officer will carry out a patrol to physically check that everything is as it should it be. As part of your agreement, you may also ask that the officer makes further checks, such as to spot maintenance issues, such as burst pipes, and windows and doors that may have been left unlocked.
Where there is an immediate problem that needs dealing with, the business would be informed immediately. Where necessary, the officer would also contact and liaise with the police.
A report is produced by the officer following each visit, which should provide evidence of the visit, such as electronic evidence the officer has scanned prepositioned checkpoints. The report may include photos of any maintenance issues or other problems that have been discovered.
Mobile patrols are a great option for any business that is looking for a cost-effective solution to security out-of-hours. The presence of a uniformed security professional on the premises can act as a deterrent to would-be criminals, whilst also limiting the window of opportunity available for theft or damage to occur.
Manned guarding – also referred to as static guarding – is something that can either be provided by employing security guards in-house, or by outsourcing to an external security provider. (Take a look at our blog ‘In-house versus external security’ for more advice on this).
Unlike mobile patrol officers, who will visit various different premises throughout their shift, a manned guard will generally be tied to one business or location. They will often work closely alongside employees at the site and can become a familiar face and a valued member of the team, offering reassurance to staff and visitors alike.
The roles that are taken on by a manned guard can vary greatly. For example, at Venture our security officers are trained in customer service and reception duties. Through our VentureFIRST initiative they can provide a complete solution to all front of house needs. This is a service currently used by companies including Simplyhealth.
In contrast, we also provide manned guarding for visitor attractions, such as Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral, where liaising with the general public is a big part of the role.
Manned guarding is particularly useful for businesses who have a lot of staff, deliveries and visitors coming on site. Some businesses may also need there to be someone physically on site at all times, due to insurance requirements. Plus, the presence of a static guard can be helpful and reassuring for organisations who regularly deal with the general public.
By having the same officers assigned, they can build up familiarity with employees and business routines, whilst ensuring they embody the company’s culture and uphold its reputation at all times.
Rather than having employees act as key holders and needing to respond to alarms at unsociable hours – something that can be very unpleasant, but which also potentially puts them at risk of encountering a difficult situation - a key holding and alarm response service takes this responsibility away. It works by having a reputable security provider look after a set of keys and responding to alarms.
In the case of Venture, our company-wide average response time for an officer to be on site is just 23 minutes and they are fully trained in conflict management and also crime scene preservation.
In the same way, having employees take responsibility for locking up at night and unlocking the premises in the morning, can present a level of risk. Especially as they will often be there alone at this point and considering lone worker safety comes into play. There is also the potential for a business and its operations to be impacted upon, if an employee key holder is delayed or unable to attend due to illness.
An external security provider can hold a set of keys and attend the site to lock and unlock, in line with the needs of the business. They can also attend to meet deliveries and be flexible around other changes within the business and its operations.
Before investing in security measures for your business, you need to assess and understand the potential risk areas and how well your security will fit around the changing needs of the business. Key to this is regularly reviewing your security strategy and provision, to ensure they are up to date and fit for purpose.
If you’re based in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire or Surrey and currently updating your security plans, or thinking about investing in external security support for the first time, then call us on 01264 391538 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free security review.
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Mobile patrols offer a highly cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, especially compared to the cost of employing a 24hr security team. he presence of uniformed officers on patrol at your business premises is an incredibly effective crime deterrent...
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