Biosite Systems Ltd is urging the construction industry to maintain security safeguards ahead of the Christmas shutdown period, following an increase in sites reducing traditional measures in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). The warning comes as some sites admit they would be prepared to forgo maintaining some security elements, in an effort to cut costs. Even before COVID-19, construction site theft cost the industry around £800million per year and once the pandemic struck, there was an estimated 50 percent surge in cases during the spring lockdown, according to the CEA (Construction Equipment Association). Now, as the Christmas shutdown approaches, sites need to remain vigilant when it comes to ensuring effective protection against crime. Potential insurance claim Simon Oakley, Operations Director at Biosite Security, explains: “We have started to see a worrying trend emerging where some sites are reducing normal levels of security reinforcements, including manned guarding, in an effort to save costs or because security has fallen down the priority list in response to COVID-19. What has been especially concerning is the underlying feeling that a small number of sites may be willing to ‘take the risk’ of a potential insurance claim should the worst happen and a site is impacted by crime.” Having a physical presence on the ground can be beneficial for many reasons" “We understand that COVID-19 has presented many challenges and the industry has responded admirably to new ways of working, including introducing rigorous safety measures. In the same vein, it’s critical that site security is not compromised. Having a physical presence on the ground can be beneficial for many reasons, whether that’s protecting assets from theft or damage or crucially being able to respond rapidly to an incident if an intruder has entered site, particularly if that poses a potential risk to life or to the surrounding area.” Advanced technology systems “Site security should always remain a priority but especially with the Christmas shutdown approaching, as it could present a perfect storm for opportunistic criminals to strike. Now is not the time to sacrifice site security – it is more important than ever.” Biosite Security operates a nationwide support network of specially trained and SIA licenced guards, managed by an SIA approved contractor dedicated to the construction industry. Biosite guards report back to a 24/7 control room and have access to advanced technology systems for live tracking and reporting – putting sites in control of security.
Following a reported 50 per cent surge in construction crime rates since the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, the industry is being urged to tighten security measures to defend sites from opportunistic criminals. Increase in security incidents The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) announced the significant increase in raids on vehicles and sites and theft of plant equipment and tools, which is in stark contrast to overall crime rates, which dropped by up to 40 per cent in March . Even before the COVID-19 crisis, construction site theft was an ongoing problem that blighted the industry, costing an estimated £800 million per year. In a survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Building, 92% of respondents confirmed they had been affected by theft, with 21% reporting weekly site robberies. Since the pandemic and the initial uncertainty around government guidelines and whether construction should remain open, a spate of sites have entered shutdown, often leaving valuable assets in place. Effective site security Simon Oakley, Operations Director at Biosite Systems, comments, “Establishing effective site security is critical at all times but with the recent increase in incidents of construction-related crime, it is clear that opportunistic criminals are targeting sites in shutdown”. The Biosite CCTV solutions in operation link back to a dedicated control room to offer 24/7 surveillance and protection" He adds, “The construction industry has needed to respond rapidly to advice led by government and industry bodies to ensure sites are safe for operatives, which has meant in many cases sites have been scaled back or entered shutdown much quicker than they would normally be, leaving valuable plant equipment that is a temptation to thieves”. Manned guarding, CCTV and mobile patrols Simon further stated, “It is essential that these assets are removed when possible or protected with adequate security measures, such as manned guarding, mobile patrol units or CCTV, to establish control over the situation and to ensure essential police resources are not being diverted during the COVID-19 relief effort.” Biosite Systems operates a nationwide support network of specially trained and Security Industry Association (SIA) licensed guards, managed by an SIA approved contractor for the construction industry. The Biosite CCTV solutions in operation link back to a dedicated control room to offer 24/7 surveillance and protection.