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The risks of an empty construction site in Central London



Building and construction sites are widely seen across Central London as new offices, shopping centres and hotels are added to the Capital’s skyline. During construction it is essential to secure the site to ensure that the build it kept to time, the area is safe and importantly budgets are met.

London based security firm, Security Risk Specialists (SRS) are experts in this field. They have seen first-hand the dangers posed to landowners who do not properly guard their land.

In 2013 SRS were hired to secure a plot of land that had been left unattended and taken over by an organised network of squatters. SRS successfully assisted the land owner and bailiffs, who were waiting to secure a court injunction, to remove the squatters.

The site was then manned 24/7 by SRS guards and guard dogs. SRS Head Yair Daren comments, “Well trained and equipped security dog handlers can be trusted to deliver an excellent and reliable service throughout the day and night. Under instruction from a professional security dog handler, a dog offers an additional deterrent to ward off trespassers and prevent security breaches.”

However, squatters are not the only danger posed by a site without security. Fly tippers and rubbish dumping is a lucrative business, especially in central London. This is a huge nuisance and much better prevented rather than having to deal with the consequences.

“Deterrent and prevention is the key here. A strong visual and physical presence significantly reduces the chance of anything happening.” Daren continues

As building work progresses the challenges in securing a construction site change and the security measures in place need to reflect this. The site now houses expensive equipment and machinery. In addition there is an increased workforce and a high turnover of staff as new suppliers and workers come and go. Materials such as metals and in particular copper are also in high demand and at risk of theft.

To combat this, SRS recommends the installation of high definition CCTV cameras, recording 24/7. “We know criminals are deterred by CCTV but if there is an attempted break in or an assault on a guard then proof is needed in order to secure a criminal conviction,” explains Daren.

Following in the footsteps of the Metropolitan Police, SRS Guards wear body cams. These cameras can record for as long as six hours, including both audio and video – giving a clear, close range view from the on duty guards.

It is key to note that each site is different and poses individual risks which is why SRS offers a full risk site assessment before any work begins. Weak spots are highlighted and appropriate security measures taken.

SRS has worked with numerous clients and has dealt with threats of theft, vandalism and arson.  Daren concludes, “Our SIA licensed security guards deliver a fully integrated guarding and surveillance service for your development and our strong presence in Central London means we are exceptionally well placed to effectively protect around the clock.”

SRS do not stop at simply employing individuals with a background in physical defence, police or military work, but also offer regular training to all security guards which makes sure that they possess and exhibit the skills required to excel in the environment they operate in.

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