One of the biggest headaches that property owners face is that of trespass. Trespassers and unwanted visitors can in a short amount of time create both temporary and permanent damage to your property that can leave you stressed and out of pocket. Whether through criminal damage, littering, or arson, there are many reasons to be fearful of trespass damage, and even more reasons to take pre-emptive action, as we will discuss here.
One of the most common annoyances that occurs as a result of trespass is vandalism. While many people picture youths with spray paint cans in hand, vandalism isn’t only restricted to graffiti. It also includes things like smashed windows or doors, slight structural damage, and fly-tipping. Vandals do not want to be caught in the act and will look for quick entry and exit points. You can slow down that process through good perimeter security choices.
Increasingly, a new type of trespass has come to the fore, spurred on by the internet and enthusiastic photographers. Urban exploration is the act of visiting typically old, ‘abandoned’ buildings to take photographs and share your findings online.
While hobbyists may have the best of intentions, the result can wreak havoc for the owners of these buildings. Property can be damaged as explorers seek to gain access and make their way around a property, and the owners left to foot the bill. What’s more urban explorers might also be risking their health as buildings may be unsafe, containing hazardous materials like asbestos, or unsafe structures that could result in injury or even death.
While the law frowns upon urban exploration, there are risks for owners too. Under the Defective Premises Act and the Occupiers Liability Act they may be liable for any injuries that trespassers encounter whilst on their property. This is why it is critical to take pre-emptive measures to prevent access.
Arson is another undoubtedly serious threat to vacant and occupied buildings. Even the smallest of fires can spread rapidly and leave behind tremendous damage. Many arsonists plan out their attacks in advance and hope to be able to get away quickly from a scene, which is why it is important to showcase strong deterrents.
Some types of intrusion or trespass are not motivated by criminal means but can be equally disruptive. Intruders on your premises or land may make use of your amenities without paying, leave behind rubbish, and cause damage to property through their presence. While there are legal routes to deal with unwanted visitors, it is much smarter to lock down your site with preventative measures.
Key actions to take to prevent intruders
A core fundamental of perimeter security is securing entry and exit points for premises. Gates need to be robust and too tall to climb, and fences resistant to simple cutting tools. There also needs to be sufficient thought given to gaps, which might be secured with wire, where appropriate.
Fences and gates
Fences, gates, and foliage can also act as a visual barrier to prevent criminals and trespassers. These measures will prevent trespassers from understanding how a site operates. Meaning any weaknesses that they might be able to exploit will not be easily discovered.
Buildings should be well lit as it is critical for the work of CCTV cameras. It also acts as a deterrent for trespassers who might not want to be seen by passers-by. A risk assessment can help you identify which areas of your site might need additional lighting.
While it is good practice to have CCTV systems in place, they are not necessarily going to prevent an intrusion from taking place. If authorities are not able to respond quickly, and a criminal is disguised then the CCTV only serves to document a crime.
Gates, Bollards and Barriers
Tools like security gates, bollards, and barriers can be much more effective in restricting access, to begin with. You can also use access control equipment with turnstiles and barriers, enhanced with keypads, proximity cards, or intercoms to further reduce access once inside a building.
Vehicular access should be considered in any risk assessment too. You can disrupt their efforts through the use of barriers and bollards, but also tools like road blockers and automatic rising kerbs.
Are you interested in finding out more? Gateway Automation provides a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers, and other perimeter security equipment.
To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure