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Electronic versus manned security

John Briggs, pictured, Managing Director for First Security discusses manned guarding versus security technology.

Statistics show that there are around 4.2 million security cameras in the UK – which is around one camera per every 14 people – with the average person being caught on closed circuit television (CCTV) 300 times each day. But just how much protection does this technology offer against crime in public places, and does this rise in security technology mean we still need manned guarding to maintain public safety?

Electronic solutions are being developed all the time and can be highly effective, but they should not be the only method that’s used to secure premises or protect people and property. Why? Electronic security monitors, but security officers act to prevent, deter and react immediately to incidents as they happen.

Companies look towards achieving the best ‘security mix’ by using all the security options available to them. For example, CCTV should act as a deterrent for would-be criminals, as well as keeping a log of activity. However it is now perhaps much less of a deterrent than it was, making it important that a security officer is present to reinforce the visible deterrent and to prevent disorder on the ground. Another example is the access control system – this can allow a cardholder access to the building and as such is a good security measure, but unless the system uses Biometrics checks as well, only a security officer can check the photo on the ID card to ensure that the right person is using it to gain access to the building. Therefore using the card for access is one level of security which can be enhanced by using the security officer to check the ID.

The security mix should be determined on a case by case basis, taking into account the threats and risks to the property, the people and the business that is carried out there. The right security mix will be different for retail environments, industrial environments, offices, museums, transport and so on. The mix can also be changed as the risks or threats change.
Manpower allows the security mix to be as flexible as it can be to raise and lower security levels to match current threats.

To read the full article, visit Professional Security magazine online.

First Security

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