Construction Managers Revealed: Suggestions of Security on Building Sites.
The annual cost of construction site crime reaches the hundred million pound mark; thus, the pressure to protect high-value equipment remains constant.
According to data from the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), the UK’s construction equipment sales rose by 73% in the first half of 2021. The demand for building equipment is high. The publicly reported crimes of expensive items such as backhoes and excavators, often resalable for thousands of pounds, reflect this figure.
The reports detail the creative and somewhat interesting ways criminals use to gain entry and steal from sites. With some tricking their way in, posing as genuine workers; It is fair to say crime within this industry is a serious issue.
Professional Alert Security has contacted a group of UK-based construction managers to find out their opinions on building site security, and some of their answers may leave you surprised.
When asked what security measures the construction industry can take to stop criminals, security guards with K9 patrols were a firm favorite, with many suggesting this was the way forward. This option will provide a great sense of security. A security dog will be able to sniff out any late-night trespassers with their incredible sense of smell. A downside to K9 security is that they can’t identify a criminal. So, if criminal activities took place on a busy site in the daytime, a K9 wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
One manager suggested that more cameras be installed on sites to deter criminal activity. However, another responded that they witnessed “diggers and similar plant items disappearing during the late hours of the evening” on their CCTV systems.
The truth is, the target is not just larger, expensive equipment. When asked what the most costly item criminals had stolen was, smaller tools such as battery packs and drills were next on the list, with suggestions that bag checks should be mandatory to deter workers who may also be stealing.
Thieves can consider anything as valuable on-site, the cheaper and more unusual pieces of equipment. One response revealed that PPE gloves were also an option for criminals.
Many items found on a building site are of value. It seems like the only way to deter crime is to have a mix of different security strategies in place. A security officer with years of experience on construction sites said,
“The best way to fight construction site crime is to think like a criminal. If there’s an area with valuable equipment, think about how a criminal can get in and take it.
“Is there a guard doing bag searches? Think about if it’s possible to smuggle items out in bags. When you address security in this manner, we can then look into strategies to prevent it from happening. Whether that’s monitoring CCTV cameras, mobile patrol or reception and, gatehouse points.”
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