Is your business relying too heavily on CCTV?

clip_image002It’s hard to deny that CCTV has an important role to play in protecting businesses. Being able to record a crime taking place and, if monitored, alert security personnel about details of an incident, are invaluable. However, it is important that businesses are also made aware of the limitations of CCTV.

The first recorded instance of a CCTV camera in use was in Germany in 1943 where it was used to document the launch of rockets. However, it took until the 1980’s for it to really take off when CCTV began to spread across public places, schools, airports, banks and private businesses. Today CCTV is used almost everywhere with an estimated 5.9 million cameras currently running in the UK.

However, despite being hailed as a silver bullet for crime, CCTV has been proven to be weak in many areas.

First of all, a camera cannot actually physically prevent or slow down a crime from happening. Once installed it simply records a crime taking place and unless there is someone watching the footage at that moment who can call for back up, nothing can be done.

Second, cameras are usually easy to spot or easily tricked. By locating cameras at a prior date a criminal can avoid the line of sight in so called ‘blind spots’ and either evade the camera completely or destroy it. There is also nothing to stop a criminal wearing disguises so that they aren’t recognisable.

In contrast to CCTV, physical perimeter security is a strong deterrent. Things like turnstiles, fencing, bollards, rising kerbs, gates and barriers can physically prevent a criminal from gaining access in the first place, whether on foot or in a vehicle.

Finally, it is worth remembering that in a time when the budgets of police forces are wearing thin, the response time for commercial crimes may not be as short or as quick as you hope. So the question then is do you fork out for costly guarding from a private company, or do you opt for making your property look so secure that no criminal would even consider trying to break in?

Here at Gateway we recommend a belt and braces approach to business security. We recognise the importance of CCTV but also recommend that businesses look at other ways they can prevent a crime from ever initially taking place.

Gateway Automation provides a range of products to help businesses and individuals secure their sites. We also provide nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please call us on 01522 682255.

Access control solutions for gyms and health centres

clip_image002Tailgating and unauthorised entry by non-paying guests is a real annoyance for many gyms and health centres in the UK, but could access control systems provide a solution?

When people tailgate or obtain access through fraudulent means they cause real problems. Many gyms choose to provide guests with key cards, swipe cards or other means of entry which allow for paying users to either lend out their cards to friends, or simply allow them to tailgate behind them providing the entry point is unmanned.

Unfortunately, this means that regular rule abiding members miss out as non-paying members bring in no revenue. Lost revenue could be used to replace out of date equipment, repair items which are showing signs of wear and tear and upgrade facilities.

There are also other risks associated with this problem, for instance if an emergency happens such as a fire, then not only will staff have no account of the person being on the property but the person them self may not know what to do or where to go.

There have also been cases in the past where unauthorised guests have stolen from other gym members, damaged equipment or committed other crimes while on the property, later leaving without a trace.

Access control
Here at Gateway we recommend two key access control solutions for dealing with unauthorised access at gyms and health centres, namely turnstiles and biometric fingerprint readers.

Tailgating is when a person sneaks behind another person who has already used their membership card or other device to gain access to a gym. This allows a non-paying person, perhaps a friend or family member, or perhaps someone unknown to use the gyms facilities, to also enter.

One of the best ways that you can prevent this is to install waist height or half height turnstiles which act as a first line of defence in stopping unwanted entry. They stop a non-paying member from gaining access without either being approved by security, using an access token or by providing their fingerprints.

Biometric Fingerprint Readers

Fingerprint readers not only solve the problem of unauthorised access to non-members, they also prevent current members from lending their cards out. New members are asked to provide their fingerprints during sign-up and then simply press their finger against the reader to gain access. Everyone’s fingerprint is individual so there is no way that an unauthorised, non paying guest can gain access. Additionally, unlike membership cards or key fobs your fingerprints cannot be lost!

Here at Gateway we provide free feasibility surveys to assess your requirements and non-obligation quotes. Click here to arrange a callback or click here to download our free brochure.